DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, mirroring global equities, with Saudi Arabia extending gains for a fourth consecutive session.
The MSCI All-Country World Index held broadly steady throughout the European morning, up 0.1% at a fresh record high.
Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region’s financial markets, also hit 13-month highs, helped by rising optimism about a pick up in fuel demand.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index climbed 1%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 2.9%.
National Commercial Bank (NCB), the country’s largest lender, and Samba Financial Group advanced 1.5% and 2.6%, respectively.
Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approved NCB’s request to increase its capital to merge with Samba via a securities exchange offer. The CMA gave the nod for NCB to increase its capital to 44.78 billion riyals ($11.94 billion) from 30 billion riyals, by issuing 1.48 billion ordinary shares.
Dubai’s main share index edged up 0.2%, bolstered by a 2.2% rise in its largest lender Emirates NBD and a 1.1% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.
In Dubai, where a second wave of coronavirus infections threatens to upend a tourism boom, stocks ended four sessions of losses.
The Abu Dhabi the index closed 0.1% higher, supported by a 0.8% gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
FAB, the largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, raised 750 million euros ($907.35 million) through the sale of five-year bonds on Tuesday, its debut euro-denominated issue, a document showed.
In Qatar, the index, however, closed 0.5% lower, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in Qatar National Bank and a 0.8% decline in Shariah-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan. Elsewhere, petrochemical firm Industries Qatar eased 0.4%, following a drop in full year net profit.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index was down 0.7%, with the country’s largest lender Commercial International Bank falling 1.5%.