DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, pressured by losses in financial shares, while top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) supported the Abu Dhabi index.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index closed down 0.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries both losing 0.7% each.
Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.9%, dragged down by a 1.4% fall in Shariah-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 1% decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.
In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.6%, led by a 1.4% rise in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.1% gain in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
After trading hours on Wednesday, FAB said it was not in merger talks with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
The comment followed a local news report by Arabian Business which said Abu Dhabi’s largest bank by assets had renewed “discussions for a possible merger deal” with the Shariah-compliant lender.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, however, was down 0.2%.
The Qatari index eased 0.3%, with Qatar Islamic Bank losing 0.6%, while lender Masraf Al Rayan dropped 0.8%.
Qatar Islamic Bank reported a net Profit of 2.22 billion riyals ($609.89 million) in the nine months, compared with 2.22 billion riyals a year earlier.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index rose 0.4%, helped by a 4.9% jump in El Sewedy Electric and a 0.3% increase in Commercial International Bank.—Reuters