Mideast stocks mostly rise; Saudi jumps

Published: June 06, 2018 15:55:55 | Updated: June 08, 2018 11:30:28


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Mideast stocks mostly rose in early trade on Wednesday, with Saudi Arabia gaining for a fourth straight day.

The Saudi index climbed 0.6 per cent in the first hour, with gainers outnumbering losers by more than two to one, reports Reuters.

Zain Saudi added 2.3 per cent after saying it had refinanced a 5.9 billion riyal ($1.6 billion) financial facility on preferential terms and had obtained fresh working capital to fund its digital plans.

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Qatar gained 0.4 per cent, buoyed by fund flows related to the rise in foreign ownership ceilings for some of its blue chips, whose weights in international equity indexes have risen.

Qatar Insurance gained 4.0 per cent after its board approved a buy-back of the company’s shares worth up to 500 million riyals ($137 million). The company has a market capitalisation of about 12.6 billion riyals.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4 per cent with big banks and real estate firms outperforming slightly after the crown prince announced a 50 billion dirham ($13.6 billion), three-year stimulus package for the economy, including more investment in new technologies and tourism.

Although the package is welcome, many details are not known and it is not clear how much the package can help the residential real estate market, where prices dropped 7.8 per cent from a year earlier in the first quarter.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.3 per cent, gaining for a fifth straight day, as builder Arabtec shot up 6.4 per cent in its heaviest trade for almost a month.

The stock has rebounded 35 per cent from a multi-year low since it reported in mid-May its highest quarterly profit since late 2014.

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