DUBAI: Saudi Arabian shares outperformed other Gulf markets to close higher on Monday after the kingdom hiked prices for its crude sales in July, while the Abu Dhabi index fell for a fourth straight session.
The kingdom raised the official selling price for its flagship Arab light crude to Asia to a $6.50 premium versus the average of the Oman and Dubai benchmarks, from a $4.40 premium in June. The move lifted global prices of crude oil.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 1.3%, boosted by a 3.4% jump in petrochemical maker Sabic and a 1% hike in Al Rajhi Bank as the two sectors were set to gain the most from surging oil prices.
Barclays raised its Brent crude price forecasts by $11 per barrel for 2022 and $23 for 2023, citing a larger and sustained disruption in Russian supply following sanctions by the European Union.
Insurer Bupa Arabia gained 5.1% after the company announced an annual dividend of 4.50 riyals a share ($1.20), an increase of about 32% compared with a year earlier.
Separately, Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund - the Public Investment Fund (PIF) - has been shortlisted to buy a stake in the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia Starbucks franchise held by Alshaya Group, two sources said.
The Qatari index gained 1.3%, led by a 2.7% increase in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 2.2% leap in Sharia lender Masraf Al Rayan.
Dubai’s main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.8% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.8% increase in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications.
But the Abu Dhabi index closed 0.7% lower, hit by a 2% slump in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.2% drop in conglomerate International Holding Company.