January 29, 2020 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Middle Eastern stocks rise; Egypt outperforms

    * Telecom Egypt soars on Vodafone's deal
    * Saudi's NCB gains on strong fourth-quarter profit
    * SABIC slides after posting fourth-quarter losses

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Jan 29 (Reuters) - Most Middle Eastern stock markets rose on
Wednesday, supported by gains in banking shares and recovering
oil prices, while Egypt ended a four-day losing streak.
    Oil prices rose for a second day, recouping some losses
after a five-day rout, on talk that OPEC would extend oil output
cuts if a new coronavirus hurts demand and on data showing a
decline in U.S. stockpiles.
    Egypt's blue-chip index advanced 1% as Telecom
Egypt soared 10% following Vodafone Group's
agreement to sell its stake in Egyptian unit, Vodafone Egypt
    Telecom Egypt said on Sunday it had no intention of selling
its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt.
    Stock exchange data showed that Egyptian investors were net
buyers of stocks.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index increased 0.2% with
Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank (NCB)
 rising 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively.
    The latter reported a higher net profit of 11.4 billion
riyals ($3.04 billion) in 2019, compared to 9.59 billion riyals
year before.
    However, the gains were capped by losses at other blue-chip
stocks. Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) dropped 1.9% as
the chemicals company posted a fourth-quarter loss, compared
with profit a year earlier. 
    Elsewhere, Saudi Telecom closed down 1.1%. It rose
earlier following its preliminary agreement to buy Vodafone's
55% stake in Vodafone Egypt for $2.39 billion.
    Dubai's main share index added 0.5%, supported by a
1.4% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 1.1% increase in
Emirates NBD Bank. 
     The Qatari index edged up 0.2%. Qatar National Bank
 gained 1% and Qatar International Islamic Bank
 closed up 1.4%, a day after it reported a higher
full-year profit.
    The Abu Dhabi index ended 0.3% lower with First Abu
Dhabi Bank shedding 0.5% and Etisalat
down 0.4%.

 SAUDI ARABIA          rose 0.2% to 8,186 points
 ABU DHABI            lost 0.3% to 5,165 points
 DUBAI                  up 0.5% to 2,806 points
 QATAR                added 0.2% to 10,441 points
 EGYPT                  up 1% to 13,756 points
 BAHRAIN              gained 0.8% to 1,659 points
 OMAN                 slipped 0.2% to 4,079 points
 KUWAIT               was up 0.5% at 7,059 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7511 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Larry
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