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Saudi Arabia: Stocks extend gains, Aramco touches IPO price as oil prices jump

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[BENGALURU] Saudi Arabian shares opened higher on Monday, extending gains from the previous session, as a jump in oil prices and positive corporate earnings from the banking sector boosted the stocks.

Other major Gulf stock markets were little changed in early trade.

Oil prices climbed by more than US$1 a barrel on Monday, supported by output cuts and signs of gradual demand recovery amid easing coronavirus curbs. Brent crude was up 3.3 per cent at US$33.56 a barrel by 4.52am GMT.

Saudi Arabia's index was up 1.2 per cent, led by gains in Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Aramco which advanced 1.5 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

The oil giant Aramco was trading at 32.3 riyals, above its initial public offering price of 32 riyals, a mark it last touched on April 12.

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Samba Financial Group jumped 3.8 per cent after it reported a 19.6 per cent increase in first-quarter net profit to 1.27 billion riyals (S$481.5 million), while the country's biggest lender National Commercial Bank climbed 1.4 per cent, extending gains from the last session, following a 2.1 per cent rise in quarterly profit.

Dubai's index was up 0.2 per cent with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties gaining 0.4 per cent.

Union Properties added 1.7 per cent after saying it would seek approval from shareholders to utilise statutory reserve to reduce its accumulated losses, which stood at 2.14 billion dirhams (S$831.1 million), representing nearly 50 per cent of the capital, at the end of 2019.

Dubai Financial Market fell 2.2 per cent after saying it had no information to disclose with regard to a report about a potential merger of the financial markets in the United Arab Emirates.

Reuters on Friday reported, citing sources, that the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai were discussing ways to prop up Dubai's economy by linking assets in the two emirates, including merger of the local stock markets. Dubai denied the report.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was flat, with telecoms firm Etisalat slipping 0.3 per cent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank adding 0.7 per cent.

Aldar Properties edged up 0.6 per cent after it scheduled a meeting of its board on Wednesday to discuss first-quarter financial performance.

The Qatari index was also flat with Masraf Al Rayan rising 0.9 per cent and Qatar Navigation shedding 1.8 per cent.

REUTERS

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