Banks boost Saudi index; other Gulf markets down


Banks boost Saudi index; other Gulf markets down

Published: Sun 20 Oct 2019, 8:04 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Oct 2019, 10:06 PM

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply on Sunday, lifted by cheaper valuations and a delay in Aramco's IPO, while other major Gulf markets were mostly weighed down by shares of financial institutions.
The Saudi market rose 2 per cent, extending gains for a third straight session with all banking stocks higher. The kingdom's largest lender by assets National Commercial Bank jumped 5.3 per cent, its biggest intraday gain since September 2018. Al Rajhi Bank closed 1,7 per cent higher.
Dubai's index extended losses from the previous session to close 0.5 per cent down, with its largest lender Emirates NBD dropping 1.2 per cent.
On Thursday, the lender posted its biggest intra-day fall in nearly eight months after its board approved a capital increase via a rights issue of up to Dh6.45 billion ($1.76 billion), lower than the Dh7.35 billion the general assembly had decided on in February this year.
In Abu Dhabi, the index inched down 0.1 per cent as Emirates Telecommunications and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 0.4 per cent each. But Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) rose 1.7 per cent after it reported a rise in nine-month net profit.
"News of a delay in the Aramco IPO removed an overhang and gave investors the confidence to start buying again" said Akber Khan, head of asset management at Al Rayan Investment.
Saudi Aramco put off the planned launch of its initial public offering in the hope that pending third-quarter results will bolster investor confidence in the world's largest oil firm, Reuters reported on Friday citing two sources familiar with the matter.
Aramco was expected to announce plans this week to float a stake of between 1 per cent and 2 per cent on the Tadawul, in what would have been one of the world's largest ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 billion.
In Egypt, the benchmark index added 0.2 per cent with Commercial International Bank rising 1.4 per cent, while Egypt Kuwait Holding was up 1.5 per cent. However, Egypt's Qalaa Holdings fell 0.8 per cent despite saying that it will increase its refinery production capacity.
The firm will increase its refinery production capacity to 5.5 million tonnes of oil products per year in 2021 from 4.2 million now, the company's chairman told Reuters.
The Qatari index was down 0.2 per cent hurt by a 1.6 per cent fall in Commercial Bank and a 1.8 per cent drop in Mesaieed Petrochemical.
- Reuters

By Ateeq Shariff

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