October 7, 2019 / 9:05 AM / 7 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials weigh on Saudi and Qatar markets

Oct 7 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian and Qatari stocks slipped in early trade on Monday, pulled lower by a drop in financials in both the countries.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index was down 0.5% at 7,926 points, set for its fourth session of losses in five. Riyad Bank dropped 1.4% and Arab National Bank dipped 1.2%.

Saudi Advanced Industries declined 4.9% after it said that an agreement for the sale of its 10% stake in Alsalam Aerospace Industries was extended further for a period of six months.

However, Abdullah Saad Mohammed Abo Moati Stationeries and Al Aseel Company, which trade on Saudi’s secondary market NOMU, surged 18.3% and 10.6%, respectively, following board approvals to move their listing onto the main index.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday introduced measures to facilitate the entry of foreign issuers to the Saudi stock market after opening it to foreign investors in 2015, in a move designed to diversify investment opportunities for market participants.

Qatar’s index fell 0.4%, with the Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank shedding 1.1%.

The market received some support from a 3.3% rise in Qatar Aluminium Manufacturing, which entered the Qatar’s main index this month.

Meanwhile, banks supported a 0.3% increase in the Dubai index, with Dubai Islamic Bank rising 0.6% and Mashreq Bank surging 13.6% after it said its board will approve the third-quarter results next week.

Financials also buoyed the Abu Dhabi index which edged up 0.2%, extending gains from the previous session when it ended four days of losses.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, was up 0.3% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was 0.8% higher.

Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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