Most Gulf markets fall, UAE index up

DUBAI: The stock markets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed higher, boosted by real estate and banking shares, defying the fall in other Gulf markets. Dubai’s index advanced 1.3%, with Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 1.7% and Emaar Properties adding 1.9%.

On Sunday, Dubai Financial Market introduced equity futures trading platform, which included the lender Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Properties among stocks available for future contracts. The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.3%. Aldar Properties rose 2.9% and First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 0.4%.

Meanwhile, Israeli tourism, travel and media representatives will visit the UAE this week on the invitation of state carrier Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index closed 0.2% down. The kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank dropped 1.3%, while the oil giant Saudi Aramco lost 0.6%.

Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) have decided to re-evaluate their $20 billion crude-oil-to-chemicals project and are now looking at integrating existing facilities instead. SABIC ended 0.1% lower after gaining as much as 1.2% during the day.

The Qatari index edged down 0.1% as Industries Qatar and Barwa Real Estate fell 1.1% and 1.2%, respectively. Among the gainers, Qatar Islamic Bank closed 0.4% higher as the lender hired a group of banks to arrange an issuance of five-year US dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds.

Egypt’s blue-chip index slipped 0.1%. The country’s largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt shed 0.5% and the tobacco firm Eastern Company declined 1.3%.