- Saudi state media firms to start moving from Dubai to Riyadh
- STC's tech unit aims to raise up to $960 million in IPO
Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Monday as oil prices declined, while the Saudi index bucked the trend to close higher.
Oil prices fell after the world's top exporter Saudi Arabia slashed crude contract prices for Asia over the weekend, reflecting well-supplied global markets and concerns over the outlook for demand.
Dubai's main share index lost 0.2%, hit by a 1.3% fall in logistic firm Aramex and a 1% decline in Emaar Malls after receiving regulator approval to merge with Emaar Properties.
Earlier in March, Emaar Properties said it was buying out minority shareholders of its shopping centre unit.
Emaar Properties closed up 0.2%.
The Dubai market continues to suffer from the announced migration of major Saudi media companies away from Dubai, said Daniel Takieddine, senior market analyst at FXPrimus.
Dubai-based Saudi state-owned media companies will start moving staff this month to the capital Riyadh, sources said, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presses ahead with plans to remould the kingdom as a regional business hub.
In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.1%, with Emirates Telecommunications Group falling 1.3%.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.6%, extending gains for a second consecutive session, led by a 1.2% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and 1% increase in Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co, a unit of STC, set an indicative price range for its initial public offering, aiming to raise as much as 3.6 billion riyals ($960 million).
The kingdom's main index followed the positive mood in the United States on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will postpone reducing its asset purchasing program, Takieddine said.
"The market is also buoyed by the IPO of Saudi Telecom's unit and the call from the government for Saudi media companies to move their headquarters to the country."
Additionally, Aramco's aggressive price cut could help the country improve its market share now that OPEC has decided to increase oil production, Takieddine added.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 0.3%, extending losses from the previous session.
Speed Medical plunged more than 13% after its board approved a purchase of treasury shares.