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Saturday / February 29.

Banking, petrochemical shares boost Tadawul

DUBAI: Major Gulf stock markets closed higher on Sunday, mirroring gains late last week in global markets, and supported by some companies’ positive second-quarter results.In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul main index rose 0.5 percent, with banks and petrochemical companies leading the gains.Dubai’s Arqaam Capital said in a research note last week it expected Saudi Arabia to deliver the strongest second-quarter earnings performance in the Gulf.

“We, however, expect growth to peter out as (the) rate cut cycle kicks in, given the significant positive ALM (asset liability management) position of KSA (Saudi) banks,” it said.
Alinma Bank rose 1.2 percent, while Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp gained 1 percent.  
Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (Zain Saudi) gained 3.2 percent after reporting an 11 percent increase in second-quarter revenues to SR2.06 billion ($549.26 million).
Petchem firms Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) rose 1.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The Dubai index rose 0.7 percent, lifted by property developers Union Properties, up 3.6 percent, and heavyweight Emaar Properties, up 1 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, where the index was up 0.1 percent, blue chip Aldar Properties gained 3.9 percent.  
The company said last week it had partnered with the Abu Dhabi government to deliver projects worth AED5 billion ($1.36 billion).
Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital was among the top performers, up 5.3 percent.   
Waha, which has seen its stocks tumble around 50 percent since the beginning of the year, has been in talks with another investment firm, Gulf Capital, regarding a merger, sources told Reuters earlier this year.
Recent changes at management level might suggest the company is charting a new growth strategy.
In Egypt, the index shed 1 percent, as Orascom Investment Holding dropped 3.9 percent. Orascom’s stocks last week soared after the firm’s board withdrew an offer to acquire Nile Sugar.

via AN