MIDEAST STOCKS Abu Dhabi outperforms Gulf peers as IHC extends gains

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Abu Dhabi stocks rose in early trade on Monday, outperforming other Gulf peers, boosted by extended gains in International Holding (IHC) after the conglomerate delivered strong first-half numbers last week.

Other major Gulf markets were little changed in absence of fresh factors.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.6%, with International Holding leaping about 3%.

Last week, IHC reported a net profit of 4.36 billion dirhams ($1.19 billion) for the period ended June 30, up from 814 million dirhams year ago.

The company’s market capitalisation hit 201.7 billion dirhams in late June, making it Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed firm, after the market debut of Alpha Dhabi, in which IHC holds a 45% stake.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.9% increase in Riyad Bank.

However, the index’s gains were limited by declines in oil giant Saudi Aramco, which fell 0.9%.

Aramco is in advanced talks to acquire a roughly 20% stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s oil refining and chemicals business for about $20 billion to $25 billion in Aramco’s shares, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Bloomberg News.

Dubai’s main share index fell 0.1%, hit by a 1.2% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

The Qatari benchmark added 0.1%, with Qatar Fuel Co gaining 0.8%.

Reuters

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