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MidEast Shares Mixed Despite Drop in Brent Crude Prices to Lowest Since July 2017

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Middle East stocks were mixed, even after Brent crude dipped below $50 a barrel for the first time since July 2017.

Some investors are betting oil prices will rebound in the new year as producers are set to curb output. Also, they reportedly believe state-linked fund buying will limit the downside.

In company news, National Commercial Bank said this week it was in merger talks with Riyad Bank. Analysts said the merger could trigger wider banking consolidation.

Saudi Cable Co said it reached a final settlement deal with creditors on 313.6 million riyals ($83.60 million) of loans. The firm will pay 109.8 million riyals with the remaining amount of 203.8 million riyals being waved off by creditors.

United Development said it had finalized a sale agreement with an unnamed strategic Qatari investor for a plot at The Pearl Qatar project, for which it is master developer.

GFH Financial said recent weakness in its shares was primarily due to international and regional stock market pressures and margin calls. GFH said it enjoyed a sound financial position and was committed to maintaining its recent dividend distribution policy.

Saudi Arabia's main index dipped 0.1% to 7,711 points, Egypt jumped 1.3% to 12,840 points, Dubai inched up 0.1% to 2,469 points, Abu Dhabi rose 0.3% to 4,817 points, Qatar eased 0.1% to 10,223 points, Kuwait fell 0.3% to 5,257 points, Bahrain added 0.4% to 1,318 points and Oman rose 0.3% to 4,326 points.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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