Saudi stocks rise for a sixth day, Dubai market gains on financials

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Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Sunday and was set for a sixth straight session of gains, led by banking shares, which also bolstered the Dubai index.

The benchmark Saudi index edged up 0.1 percent, with the kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank increasing 1.6 percent, and Saudi British Bank gaining 1 percent.

The country’s banking sector continues to enjoy a high level of liquidity, the kingdom’s central bank governor said on Sunday.

The statement could allay market fears that Saudi oil giant Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) – which could be the world’s largest so far – might soak up market liquidity as Saudi investors direct their wealth towards the offering.

The IPO has attracted approximately 73 billion riyals ($19.5 billion) in institutional and retail orders so far, Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group said on Thursday.

The Dubai index rose 0.3 percent, helped by a 0.4 percent rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 3 percent gain in its top lender Emirates NBD.

Qatar’s index inched up 0.1 percent, as Qatar International Islamic Bank advanced 2.2 percent and the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank added 0.3 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was flat, with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank easing 0.1 percent, but Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank up 0.8 percent.

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