MIDEAST STOCKS Abu Dhabi outperforms Gulf bourses as IHC surges on unit’s listing

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Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi index boosted by a surge in International Holding (IHC) following listing of its unit.

Alpha Dhabi Holding, in which IHC holds a 45% stake, opened at 20 dirhams a share before easing to 17.70 dirhams, giving it a market value of 177 billion dirhams ($48.2 billion).

The Abu Dhabi index advanced 1.9%, its biggest intraday gain in over a month, buoyed by a 15% surge in International Holding.

International Holding has gone through rapid expansion across its major business sectors.

Last month it posted a net profit of 1.5 billion dirhams for the first-quarter, up from 112.2 million dirhams a year earlier.

Dubai’s main share index added 0.7%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties gaining 1.2%, while sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose 0.4%, bolstered by a 0.5% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.4% jump in Sahara International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem).

In the previous session, Sipchem jumped over 5%, when it proposed a first-half dividend of 0.75 riyal per share. The firm said in a separate filing it planned to mothball Gulf Advanced Cable Insulation Company, a move that would positively impact its future results.

In Qatar, the index eased 0.1%, hit by a 0.7% fall in Qatar National Bank, the Gulf’s largest lender.

Reuters

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