MIDEAST STOCKS Saudi Arabia Gets Bank Boost; Etisalat drives Abu Dhabi down


Saudi traders monitor stock information on the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 25, 2020. REUTERS / Ahmed Yosri / File Photo

Aug 2 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets rose in early trading on Monday as banks hiked the Saudi index, while the Abu Dhabi stock exchange was hit by the drop in Etisalat shares.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) up 1.9% and petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries (2010.SE) in increase of 1.2%.

Al Rajhi Bank on Sunday reported net profit of 3.6 billion riyals ($ 959.92 million) for the period ended June 30, compared to 2.44 billion riyal in the same period a year earlier. Read more

Alinma Bank (1150.SE) rose 1.5%, a day after announcing a rise in its quarterly net profit.

Saudi banks have benefited from mortgage lending growth and an economic recovery this year following the easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

The Qatari index (.QSI) gained 0.6% as almost all stocks were in positive territory, including Qatar Aluminum Manufacturing CO (QAMC.QA), up more than 6%.

The aluminum maker is expected to release its first half results on Thursday.

Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) rose 0.3%, led by a 14.5% rise at Mashreq Bank (MASB.DU).

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) fell 0.7%, penalized by a 2.5% drop in Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) (ETISALAT.AD).

The Abu Dhabi index hit a record high on Sunday, supported by a surge from telecommunications company Etisalat after announcing quarterly net profit of 2.40 billion dirhams (653.49 million dollars), against 2.39 billion dirhams a year earlier.

Etisalat also approved the distribution of an interim dividend of 40 fils per share for the first half of 2021.

The United Arab Emirates will begin providing China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine (1099.HK) to children aged 3 to 17, the UAE government announced on Twitter on Monday. Read more

($ 1 = 3.6726 UAE dirhams)

($ 1 = 3.7503 riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bangalore; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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