December 3, 2018 / 8:23 AM / 11 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on oil gains, banks boost Qatar

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose as oil prices climbed by more than 4 percent on Monday, leading to gains in its petrochemical and bank stocks.

Qatar's market also rose on the back of its banks, even as the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter said it would withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as of January 2019.

The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar's intent to focus its efforts on developing its natural gas industry, the country's energy minister said, adding that the decision was not linked to a political and economic boycott of Qatar imposed by OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017.

The United Arab Emirates was closed for a national holiday.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.6 percent with giant petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries adding 1.5 percent and Saudi Kayan increasing 2 percent.

Saudi Arabian Mining rose 1.4 percent after saying it commenced commercial production of Diammonium Phosphate, while CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance Company climbed 3 percent after getting regulatory approval to appoint Nabil Yosuf Jokhdar as its chairman.

Saudi Exchange data on Sunday showed foreigners bought a net 203.4 million riyals ($54.21 million) of stocks in the week ending Nov. 29, their first week of net buying after seven weeks of selling triggered by investor concerns in the wake of killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and after a fall in oil prices triggered two months of heavy selling.

The Qatar index rose 0.7 percent with Qatar National Bank gaining 1.4 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank adding 1.3 percent.

Industries Qatar added 0.8 percent at 135.4 riyals after HSBC raised the price target on the stock to 125 riyals from 110 riyals.

But Barwa Real Estate lost 2.4 percent after a court judgment asked the company to pay 153.1 million riyals ($40.81 million) and expenses. The firm added that the amount will impact its fourth-quarter earnings by 133 million riyals ($35.45 million) ($1 = 3.7519 riyals) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

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