September 21, 2017 / 1:04 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems support Saudi as oil stays near $56, Qatar up again

* SRMG jumps on plans to launch Bloomberg Arabic channel

* Qatar up for third straight day

* UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain shut for Islamic New Year

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - An overnight rise in crude oil prices to a fresh five-month peak helped to push the Riyadh stock index slightly higher on Thursday while Qatar secured its third straight day of gains.

The Saudi index edged up by 0.1 percent as all but two of the 14 listed petrochemical producers rose as Brent contracts traded around $56 a barrel.

Yanbu National Petrochemical added 0.9 percent. Shares in the large-cap producer have been active for four sessions, and one Riyadh-based analyst told Reuters that investors have been building positions in "relatively safer petrochemical stocks" because of the recent climb in the oil price.

Shares of media conglomerate Saudi Research and Marketing jumped 4.6 percent after it signed a contract with Bloomberg for an exclusive license to launch a Bloomberg Arab channel. The contract is for 10 years with an annual license cost of 33.8 million riyals.

"Local retail investors depend heavily on financial TV programmes for news and analysis, like Alarbiya and CNBC Arabia, so to add Bloomberg in Arabic will mean SRMG is set to benefit from advertising revenue," said a Saudi-based investment advisor.

In Qatar, the index managed to build positive momentum in the final hour of trade, and added 0.2 percent. Oil drilling service provider Gulf International Services climbed 3.8 percent and maritime and logistics company Qatar Navigation added 0.3 percent.

Shares in the index are now up 1 percent in three days thanks to local funds ratcheting up their buying and foreign funds slightly easing their selling of Qatari shares, bourse data showed.

Bourses in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt were closed because of the Islamic New Year holiday.


* The index edged up by 0.09 percent to 7,326 points.


* The index rose 0.2 percent to 8,361 points.


* The index added 1.2 percent to 5,100 points. (Editing by Keith Weir)

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