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DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Wednesday, with the Saudi index rising for fourth session in five, while a blue-chip sell-off weighed on Egypt.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 0.9%, with Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi National Bank gaining 1.4% and 3% respectively.

Saudi Arabia sold $3.25 billion in dual-tranche bonds on Tuesday comprising a sukuk tranche and a conventional portion in its third international bond sale of the year, a term sheet viewed by Reuters showed.

Moody’s on Friday upgraded Saudi Arabia’s outlook to “stable” from “negative”, saying it was likely to reverse most of its 2020 debt increase while preserving fiscal buffers.

Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.9%, as most of the stocks were in negative territory including top lender Commercial International Bank, which retreated 1.4%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.4%, with record high within sight, driven by a 1.5% gain in telecoms firm Etisalat.

Among other gainers, ADNOC Drilling finished 2.5% higher. The unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the largest national drilling company in the Middle East by rig fleet size, posted a rise of almost 50% in third-quarter profit on Wednesday, driven by new rigs and reactivation of others this year, in addition to an increase in oilfield services.

Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.4%, hit by a 1.8% fall in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.6% decline in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties, ahead of earnings announcement.

Union Properties plunged 9.9%, after media reports, including by Bloomberg, said its chairman Khalifa Al Hammadi had been detained amid an investigation. A spokesman for Union Properties declined to comment in the Bloomberg report.

The United Arab Emirates attorney general announced the investigation in October into allegations of financial violations by the chairman and other officials of Union Properties, state news agency WAM had reported.

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