Gulf bourses rise as US stocks rebound and oil prices recover
The Saudi stock market and other Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday, with Wall Street recovering strongly on Wednesday, and Brent crude surged below $ 50 a barrel, boosting investor sentiment. Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank up 1.1 percent. Riyad Bank rose 1.3 percent, gaining gains for a fourth consecutive session. The stock was boosted by news of merger talks with National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom's largest lender by assets, which fell 0.3 percent.
Shares in SABB rose 1.4 percent after the bank's board of directors proposed a cash dividend of one riyals per share for the second half of the year, up from 0.96 riyals a share for the first half.
Samba Financial Group rose 1.7 percent after the group proposed a cash dividend of one riyal per share over the same period.
Saudi cable shares rose 3.4 percent, the most in a month, after jumping the daily maximum of 10 percent in the previous session. The company said on Wednesday it had reached a final settlement with creditors on loans worth 313.6 million riyals ($ 83.60 million).
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Qatar's benchmark index rose 0.6 percent, with six of seven listed banks up. Qatar Islamic Bank and Doha Bank rose 1.6 and 1.8 percent respectively. Doha Bank said on Wednesday it had raised a $ 525 million syndicated loan.
United Development Bank (UDC) rose 3 percent in its most active trading since March 2017. The company said on Wednesday it had finalized a sale agreement with an unnamed Qatari strategic investor for a plot of land on the Pearl Qatar project, which it is developing.
Dubai's index closed flat, with some real estate stocks climbing. Emaar Properties rose 2.1 percent, and Emaar Properties rose 0.8 percent.
Egypt's main index, which ended Wednesday's three-day losing streak, rose 1.2 percent. El Sewedy Electric jumped 5.6 percent and was the biggest gainer in the market, while Eastern Tobacco rose 2.6 percent.
Following are the closing levels of the Middle East stock market indices:
- Saudi Arabia: The index rose 0.5 percent to 7,749 points.
- Egypt: The index rose 1.1 percent to 12,984 points.
- Dubai: The index stabilized at 2469 points.
The index rose 0.3 percent to 4,831 points.
- Qatar: The index rose 0.6 percent to 10,288 points.
- Kuwait: The index rose 0.2 percent to 5267 points.
- Bahrain: The index rose 0.3 percent to 1,222 points.
- Oman: The index rose 0.4 percent to 4344 points.