MIDEAST STOCKS Abu Dhabi hits record high, Saudi bourse up on banks

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014/File Photo

Aug 1 (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi’s stock market ended higher on Sunday, hitting a record high during the session, while the Saudi index was bolstered by gains in banking shares.

The Saudi benchmark index (.TASI) finished 0.5% higher, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) rising 2% after posting a 48% jump in quarterly profit, helped by an increase in net financing and investment income, and fees from banking services. read more

The bank reported a net profit of 3.6 billion riyals ($959.92 million) for the period ended June 30, up from 2.44 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Among other gainers, Alinma Bank (1150.SE) added over 2% after reporting a rise in quarterly net profit.

Saudi banks have benefited from growth in mortgages and an economic recovery this year following the easing of lockdowns imposed to combat the outbreak of coronavirus.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) advanced 1%, buoyed by a 5.5% leap in Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) (ETISALAT.AD).

On Thursday, Etisalat reported quarterly net profit of 2.40 billion dirhams ($653.49 million), up from 2.39 billion dirhams a year earlier.

In a separate bourse filing, Etisalat also approved a distribution of interim dividend of 40 fils per share for the first half of 2021.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.6%, led by a 1.2% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank. (DISB.DU)

However, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM.DU) retreated 2.8% following a decline in second-quarter net profit.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) fell 0.2%, pressured by a 1.1% drop in Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) closed 0.6% higher, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange will lift the limit on intraday share price moves to 20% from September, the bourse said on Sunday.

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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