February 16, 2020 / 1:55 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar leads most of Gulf lower, blue chips hurt Egypt

    * Aramco closes down at 32.8 riyals 
    * Dar Al Arkan jumps on sukuk prospectus
    * Industries Qatar continues retreat
    * Arabtec Holding posts FY loss

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Feb 16 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf bourses closed lower on
Sunday with Qatar leading the losses, dragged down by
heavyweight Industries Qatar, while Egypt retreated on a
sell-off of blue chips.
    The Qatari index dropped 1%, extending losses for a
sixth straight session, as most stocks on the index declined. 
    Industries Qatar slid 2.7%. On Wednesday, the
heavyweight saw its biggest fall in six months as 2019 profits
almost halved from a year earlier. 
    Qatar's foreign minister also said on Saturday that efforts
to resolve its long-running dispute with other Gulf states had
been suspended since the start of January.
    The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a
political, trade and transport boycott on Qatar in June 2017
over charges it supports terrorism, which Doha denies.
    Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.9%, with Telecom
Egypt falling 6.2%, while tobacco monopoly Eastern
Company dropped 1.3%.
    Exchange data on Sunday showed foreigners were net sellers
of Egyptian stocks.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.5%,
pressured by Saudi British Bank, which tumbled 4.7%
ahead of its earnings announcement.
    Amongst others, Saudi Aramco was down 0.9%. The
oil giant said on Friday it would report fiscal year results on
March 16.
    However, Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development
leapt 4.1%, after the realtor announced that it intends to issue
senior unsecured sukuk.
    In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.5% supported by a 1%
gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and 0.3% increase in
telecoms firm Etisalat.
    The United Arab Emirates' largest lender FAB on Sunday said
that it had issued bonds worth more than 3 billion dirhams
($816.77 million) through two separate issuance in three days.
    Dubai's main share index traded flat as Emirates
NBD Bank slipped 0.4%, while construction firm Arabtec
Holding sank 1.6% after it swung to a net loss in 2019
from a profit a year earlier.
    However, the fall was cushioned by gains at other blue-chip
stocks including Air Arabia, which was up 1.3%. Last
week, the airliner posted annual profit of 990.2 million dirhams
compared with a loss of 609.5 million dirhams a year ago.
 SAUDI ARABIA          fell 0.5% to 7,837 points
 ABU DHABI            gained 0.5% to 5,063 points
 DUBAI                  was flat at 2,735 points
 QATAR                lost 1% to 9,749 points
 EGYPT                  down 0.9% to 13,737 points
 BAHRAIN              traded flat at 1,662 points
 OMAN                 rose 0.8% to 4,160 points
 KUWAIT               dropped 0.7% at 6,849 points

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison
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