Middle East Stocks Mixed, Saudi Shares Helped by Rising Oil Prices

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MidEast shares were mixed, with Saudi stocks gaining on strength in bank and petrochemical stocks as oil prices rose.

In company news, Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) said it will merge its units Saudi Petrochemical Co and Arabian Petrochemical Co in a bid to increase efficiency in its global operations. The deal is seen closing in the second half of the year.

Arriyadh Development's increase in capital to 1.78 billion riyals, from 1.33 billion riyals, through a bonus share issue, was approved by the Capital Market Authority.

Aramex said Australia Post Transaction Services had sold its 10% stake in the firm for 602.6 million dirhams ($164 million). Aramex caps foreign ownership of its shares at 49% and the stake sale has freed up a 10% stake for foreigners to potentially buy.

Saudi Arabia's main index jumped 1% to 8,527 points, Abu Dhabi dropped 0.9% to 4,820 points, Dubai was flat at 2,600 points, Qatar was flat at 9,762 points, Egypt dipped 0.1% to 15,126 points, Kuwait was flat at 5,600 points, Oman eased 0.2% to 4,074 points and Bahrain added 0.4% to 1,411 points

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