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DUBAI: Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, with the Saudi index leading the way, while broad-based losses pulled Egyptian shares lower amid media reports the country’s National Bank is set to raise $1 billion to refinance debt.

Egypt’s blue-chip index declined 2.1%. Most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory, including Commercial International Bank, which dropped 2%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index finished 1.3% higher, buoyed by a 1.8% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 5.7% jump in Riyad Bank.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on Tuesday offered to work with Saudi Arabia on hydrogen production, speaking during an online meeting of the intergovernmental commission of Russia and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, which plans to diversify its economy, is considering several large-scale project to produce hydrogen.

The Qatari index rebounded 0.9%, a day after declining over 1%. Petrochemical firm Industries Qatar advanced 3.6%, while Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.9%.

However, Qatar National Bank (QNB) eased 0.6%.

QNB, the Gulf’s largest lender, said former Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi had been removed from the bank’s board of directors after his arrest earlier this month over embezzlement allegations.

Dubai’s main share index closed 0.4% higher, with Shariah-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 1%, despite its shares trading ex-dividend.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.3%, supported by a 0.7% increase in telecoms firm Etisalat and a 2.9% gain in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Abu Dhabi plans to sell US dollar bonds on Tuesday in its first foray in the international debt markets this year, raising cash for state coffers despite a recent rebound in oil prices.

The United Arab Emirates, where Abu Dhabi is the capital, was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s crash in oil prices, but a rebound in global crude demand as economies re-open has reduced the urgency to borrow for budget purposes.

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