September 12, 2019 / 1:47 PM / 9 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market extends losing streak, Egypt up again

    * Banks weigh as Saudi index falls for third day
    * Qatar snaps four-day winning streak
    * Egypt’s Eastern extends gains on dividend 
    * Financials drag on Abu Dhabi

    By Maqsood Alam 
    Sept 12 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian stocks widened losses on Thursday, having
hit an eight-month low in the previous session, while Egypt's blue-chip index
rose for a third day after inflation dropped to a multi-year low in August.
    The Saudi index closed 0.3% down in its third straight day of
losses. Riyad Bank shed 1.8% and the kingdom's largest lender,
National Commercial Bank, lost 1.2%. 
    The market fell as much as 2.5% on Wednesday, wiping out all its gains this
year before clawing back some losses to close 0.4% up in the year to date.
    With Thursday's losses, the market is now trading only 0.1% higher than the
start of the year. It jumped as much as 20% between January and May, led by
foreign investors who have been net buyers on the entry of Saudi stocks into the
MSCI and FTSE Russell emerging market indexes.
    However, some Saudi stocks became overvalued, with the kingdom's slowing
economy teetering on the brink of contraction, prompting investors to pull most
shares down from lofty valuations.
    Riyadh has been encouraging companies to list on the domestic stock market
to deepen Saudi Arabia's capital markets as part of reforms aimed at reducing
the kingdom's reliance on oil revenue.
    The kingdom has experienced a revival in IPOs this year with more are at
planning stage, including global oil giant Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE, which
could generate about $100 billion for Saudi Arabia's state coffers
    Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.6% up, extending gains for a third
day after a fall in consumer price inflation to 7.5% in August, its lowest in
    Eastern Co rose 4.1%, adding to the previous day's advance after
the board proposed an annual dividend of one Egyptian pound per share.
    The Dubai index edged up 0.1%, led by gains in financial stocks, 
with Dubai Islamic Bank adding 0.9%.
    In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.2% as market heavyweight Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank dropped 2.4%.
    Qatar's index also edged lower, slipping 0.1% to brake a four-session
winning streak. Lender Masraf Al Rayan was down 1.1%.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was down 0.3% to 7,832 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.2% to 5,096 points
 DUBAI         The index          was up 0.1% to 2,888 points
 QATAR         The index        lost 0.1% to 10,462 points
 EGYPT         The index          rose 0.6% to 15,110 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was up 0.4% at 1,547 points
 OMAN          The index        edged up 0.1% to 4,020 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was down 0.2% to 6,251 points
 (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman
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