The rise of most of the Middle East exchanges … and Qatar falls

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Most of the markets in the Middle East region closed on Monday, as the Saudi Stock Exchange rose with the support of Saudi Aramco, while Qatar bucked the trend due to news that it delayed choosing partners for the largest LNG project in the world.

The benchmark index of the Saudi Stock Exchange rose 0.5 percent, supported by the state-owned Saudi Aramco, which rose 0.9 percent to 33.1 riyals ($ 8.83), ending a series of losses that lasted for five sessions.
The shares of Saudi British Bank rose 2.1 percent, while Al-Rajhi Bank increased 0.3 percent, according to Reuters news agency.

Qatar’s index fell 0.4 percent to continue falling for the seventh consecutive session. Most of the pressure came from Mesaieed Petrochemicals and Industries Qatar, the two state-owned Qatar Petroleum units, which fell 4.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The agency quoted sources as saying that Qatar has delayed for a few months the selection of Western partners for the largest LNG project in the world.

Last year, the CEO of Qatar Petroleum told Reuters that Qatar had prepared a shortlist of international oil companies for a stake in the huge North Field expansion project.

However, the shares of Qatar Electricity and Water Company reduced the losses after they ended the trading, up 1.3 percent. The company announced an annual profit of 1.41 billion riyals ($ 387.36 million), down from 1.54 billion riyals a year ago.

And the Dubai index gained 0.5 percent, with Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls up 0.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Shares of Union Properties jumped 14.7 percent, its biggest one-day increase since December 2014. The company said, on Sunday, that the financing process of about 200 million dirhams ($ 54.45 million) to expand the Autodrome project was nearing completion.

Shares of DP World, listed on the Nasdaq Dubai, rose ten percent after announcing the cancellation of its listing and returning to full state ownership in a deal that valued the company at $ 13.9 billion.

In Egypt, the leading shares index rose 0.5 percent, as the share of the largest listed banks, Commercial International Bank Egypt, rose 0.6 percent.

And the Abu Dhabi index gained 0.4 percent, as the share of First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country’s largest bank, rose 0.3 percent and Etisalat added 0.4 percent.

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