MIDEAST STOCKS-Insurance, petchems dampen Saudi, Qatar rises as it completes FTSE upgrade

Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:40pm GMT

* Solidarity sinks as health insurance policies suspended

* Egypt down on profit-taking

* Arabian Cement drops despite strong Q4 results

* Blue chips rebound in Abu Dhabi

* Qatar rises as it completes FTSE upgrade

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, March 20 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Middle East were mixed on Monday with petrochemicals and the insurance sector weighing on Saudi Arabia while Qatar rose as it completed its upgrade by index compiler FTSE Russell to secondary emerging market status.

The Saudi index fell 0.5 percent with the main drag coming from the petrochemical sector as Brent oil futures fell further towards $51 a barrel. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical lost 1.9 percent.

Most insurance shares, which had risen strongly on Sunday, retreated. Solidarity Saudi Takaful slumped 5.6 percent after the company said the regulator had suspended its right to issue health insurance policies because of regulatory violations; the firm did not describe those violations.   Continued...

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