January 15, 2019 / 8:30 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil boosts Saudi, banks weigh on Dubai

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trading on Tuesday, as rebounding oil prices lifted its banks, while real estate and banks pulled down the Dubai index for the third straight session.

Saudi Arabia's index gained 0.7 percent with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1.6 percent and its biggest lender National Commercial Bank increasing 1.6 percent.

Riyad Bank has chosen Goldman Sachs to advise on its merger talks with National Commercial Bank, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Riyad Bank inched up 0.1 percent.

But Saudi International Petrochemical(Sipchem) decreased 1.4 percent; it announced a scheduled maintenance turnaround for its International Diol Plant and the financial impact will be reflected in its first-quarter results.

In Dubai, the index lost 0.7 percent. The index was weighed down by a 1.5 percent decline in the emirate's largest lender Emiraes NBD and a 3.5 percent decrease in Damac Properties.

Qatar's index inched up 0.1 percent with Qatar Fuel gaining 1.4 percent and Qatar Navigation adding 1.3 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was inched down 0.2 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank shedding 0.4 percent.

But Abu Dhabi National Energy fell 1.1 percent, after jumping 9.9 percent earlier in the session. The firm said its total investments had reached $30 billion held across 11 countries by the end of 2018. ($1 = 0.3849 Omani rials) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

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