March 28, 2019 / 2:02 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi's SABIC loses steam, ex-dividend stocks hit Abu Dhabi

    * SABIC retreats from 5-month high
    * 24 of 30 stocks on Egypt index rise
    * Aldar, Etisalat slide on going ex-dividend
    * QIIB hits 3-year high after foreign ownership limit

    By Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan
    March 28 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on
Thursday aided by its banks, even as Saudi Basic Industries
(SABIC) gave up most of its early gains spurred by news of
Aramco's purchase of a large stake in the petrochemicals group. 
    Abu Dhabi edged down as some stocks traded ex-dividend.
    Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.3 percent with Al
Rajhi Bank adding 1 percent and National Commercial
Bank rising 2 percent.
    Heavyweight SABIC lost 0.3 percent after gaining
as much as 2.7 percent earlier in the session. The world's
largest oil producer Saudi Aramco agreed to buy a 70 percent
stake in the firm from the Public Investment Firm (PIF) for
$69.1 billion.
    The blockbuster deal is likely to be a "long-term game
changer" for SABIC, but has limited upside in the near term
because of the muted outlook from lower petrochemical prices,
Arqaam Capital said.
     Saudi banks and telecoms were the best performing sectors
in the fourth-quarter of 2018, but results were below
expectations due to petrochemical firms missing earnings
estimates by 41 percent and consumer names reporting 62 percent
below forecasts, SICO research said in a note.
    The Abu Dhabi index dipped 0.2 percent, led by a 5.7
percent drop in Aldar Properties and a 0.8 percent
slide in Emirates Telecommunications Group as they
traded ex-dividend.
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank also shed 1.5 percent
after trading ex-dividend.
    The Egyptian blue-chip index gained 0.8 percent,
led by a 1.8 percent increase in Egypt's largest lender
Commercial International Bank and a 2.2 percent rise
in Eastern Company.
    EFG Hermes closed 1.7 percent higher after its
unit divested a 49 percent stake in wind energy projects across
four European countries.
    Dubai's index increased 0.7 percent with Dubai
Islamic Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest
sharia-compliant lender, gaining 2.5 percent and the country's
largest lender Emirates NBD adding 0.5 percent.
    Network International Holdings said that global payments
giant Mastercard will make a $300 million investment in
its planned initial public offering.
    Emirates NBD owns a 51 percent stake in the company, which
is the largest payments processor in the Middle East and Africa.
    The Qatar index gained 0.4 percent with market
heavyweight Industries Qatar increasing 1.4 percent
and Qatar Gas Transport rising 4 percent. The latter
said it has established a joint venture with Maran Ventures in
which it will hold a 60 percent stake.
    Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) rose 3.2
percent, reaching its highest since November 2015. On Monday,
the lender's shareholders approved an increase in its foreign
ownership limit to 49 percent from 25 percent.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         added 0.3 pct to 8,789 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.2 pct to 5,101 points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 0.7 pct to 2,631 points
 QATAR         The index        was up 0.4 pct at 10,146 points
 EGYPT         The index          gained 0.8 pct to 14,666
 KUWAIT        The index        edged up 0.1 pct to 5,958
 OMAN          The index        dropped 1 pct to 4,006 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was flat at 1,414 points
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below