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Banks hurt Saudi; Dubai continues to gain on Emaar

Saudi Arabia's stock market fell on Thursday, with Al Rajhi Bank, the country's second largest lender by assets, weighin

July 25, 2019

Saudi Arabia's stock market fell on Thursday, with Al Rajhi Bank, the country's second largest lender by assets, weighing on the index, while Dubai extended its series of gains on the back of top developer Emaar Properties.

In Saudi Arabia, the index lost 0.4% with Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank falling 2.3% and 0.6% respectively.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, slid 0.2% after it halted negotiations with Clariant to form a new high performance materials company from the combined assets of the two companies.

Saudi Automotive Services declined 1.7%. The firm posted a disappointing second-quarter profit which it blamed on increasing financing costs and a fall in fuel profit margin.

However, Sahara International Petrochemical surged 2.8% after it reported flat Q2 profit at 210.9 million riyals  ($56.2 million) beating EFG Hermes forecast of 188 million riyals.

In Dubai, the index continued its gain for a fourth day and was up 0.5%, in a boost mainly by its property stocks.

The country's largest listed developer Emaar Properties  traded up at 1%, stretching the gain for the fourth straight session. On Monday, the developer signed an agreement to help deliver an $11 billion project at the site of Beijing's new mega airport.

Dubai Investments advanced 2.2% while Emaar Development was up 1.3%.

Qatar's index added 0.3% with market heavyweight Industries Qatar rising 1.5%, while Qatar Islamic Bank  was up 1.1%, extending gains for a fourth consecutive day.

Last week, the lender reported first-half net profit of 1.42 billion riyals ($389.95 million) up from 1.32 billion riyals year ago.

Abu Dhabi, the index inched up 0.1% higher reflecting an eighth-day rise, helped by energy and real estate stocks.

Dana Gas added further 1.9% after it jumped 5.1% on Wednesday. Abu Dhabi National Energy increased 4.6%.

RAK Properties jumped 4% in its fourth consecutive day of gains after it slated board meeting to discuss financials.

Eshraq Investments extended its gain, rising 1%. The firm reported a drop in second-quarter profit, However, plans for doing away with a limit on foreign ownership of its shares, and for cross-listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange, outweighed poor earnings.

Copyright Reuters, 2019