Mideast Stocks: Saudi shares climb on higher crude while Qatar falls


Saudi shares extended gains for an eighth consecutive session on Monday on rising crude oil prices while corporate results weighed on the Qatari index.

Oil prices soared to their highest in about 13 months as vaccine rollouts promised to revive demand and producers kept supply in check. 

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.8% and National Commercial Bank climbing 1.5%. The Qatari index lost 0.5%, dragged down by a 8.1% slide for telecoms giant Ooredoo after it reported a loss of 342 million riyals ($93.96 million) in the fourth-quarter, against a profit of 460 million riyals a year earlier. 

Qatar Insurance fell 3.5% after a decline in 2020 profit. 

Elsewhere, Dubai’s main share index firmed 0.7%, led by a 1.9% rise for Emaar Properties despite the blue-chip developer’s 58% drop in full-year profit. 

Emaar founder Mohamed Alabbar was more optimistic about 2021, saying there were opportunities both traditional and technological that didn’t exist five or 10 years ago.

In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.3%, hit by a 1.6% decline for Aldar Properties and a 0.7% fall for the country’s largest lender and index heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index  firmed by 0.2%. Electronics retailer MM Group for Industry and International Trade was the best performer, extending its gains for a second straight session.

MM Group jumped more than 13% after it said on Sunday that its non-banking finance joint venture Ebtikar will be listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. 

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman) ((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com; +91 (0)8061822683;))