Qatar bourse gains as major Gulf markets ease

(Reuters) – Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous session, after Saudi Arabia amended import rules from the Gulf in a challenge to the United Arab Emirates, although Qatar bucked the trend.

A trader looks on near electronic boards showing stock market data at Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.1%, hit by a 0.9% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.7% drop in top lender Saudi National Bank.

The kingdom has amended its rules on imports from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli input from preferential tariff concessions, in a bid to challenge the United Arab Emirates’ status as the region’s trade and business hub.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia clashed this month over how OPEC+ producers unwind oil output cuts. Discussions were abandoned after a third day of talks on Monday failed to resolve differences.

The Qatari benchmark, however, gained 0.8%, ending two days of losses, with petrochemical firm Industries Qatar rising 1.6%.

Dubai’s main share index reversed early losses to finish flat, as declines in property shares were offset by gains in banking stocks.

Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, retreated 2.2%, while its unit Emaar Malls dropped 2%.

Emaar Properties expects to buy out minority shareholders of Emaar Malls and delist the business by year-end.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.2%, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and telecoms firm Etisalat losing 0.5% each.

But International Holding (IHC) ended 0.2% higher, gaining for an eighth consecutive session.

The winning streak started with the listing of its unit Alpha Dhabi last week, sparking a share price rise that made IHC Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index rebounded 1.2%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including Commercial International Bank.

SAUDI ARABIA eased 0.1% to 10,959

ABU DHABI fell 0.2% to 6,970

DUBAI was flat at 2,782

QATAR gained 0.8% to 10,866

EGYPT rose 1.2% to 10,277

BAHRAIN added 0.3% to 1,578

OMAN lost 0.3% to 4,110

KUWAIT added 0.4% to 6,935

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