Gulf stocks were mostly firm on Wednesday in early trade, with blue-chip Saudi Arabian Mining (Ma’aden) jumping after forming a joint venture with the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund PIF to invest in mining assets globally.
Also shares in the region mirrored gains in global equity markets, as investors awaited US inflation data for cues on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate stance. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.90%.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose 0.3%, bolstered by a 3.9% jump in Saudi Arabian Mining Company after it agreed to a joint venture. The miner will own 51%, while PIF will own 49% in the venture.
Ma’aden also agreed on acquiring a 9.9% stake in minerals exploration and development firm Ivanhoe Electric (IE) and forming a joint venture to explore and develop mining projects in Saudi Arabia.
Abu Dhabi’s share index gained 0.3%, led by a 1.5% increase in state-owned port operator Abu Dhabi Ports Company and a 0.9% hike in UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Separately, state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) established a new global gas processing, operations and marketing company, ADNOC Gas, and intends to offer a minority stake in ADNOC gas through an IPO on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in 2023.
Gulf stocks rise on hopes of smaller rate hike, demand recovery
Dubai’s main share index also rose 0.3%, supported by industrial and real sector stocks as blue-chip developer Emaar properties rose 0.7%, while toll operator Salik Company was up 0.8%.
The benchmark Qatari index opened 0.2% higher, as Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank added 0.4% ahead of its full year earnings later in the day, while Qatar Navigation (also know as Milaha) climbed 1.3%.