MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks aid Saudi index, most of Gulf moves little


Dec 31 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trading on Tuesday, supported by its financial shares, while other major Gulf bourses were little changed with many investors away for year-end holidays.

The kingdom's main index .TASI added 0.3%, buoyed by a 0.3% rise in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE and a 1.2% gain in Banque Saudi Fransi 1050.SE.

On Monday, the latter raised its dividend for the second half to 1 riyal ($0.3199) per share.

State-owned Saudi Aramco 2222.SE inched up 0.1%.

Zain Sauid 7030.SE dropped 1.2%, snapping three straight days of gains, a day after ending agreement to sell and leaseback its towers infrastructure to IHS.

The Dubai index .DFMGI opened up 0.2%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD ENBD.DU and logistic firm Aramex ARMX.DU gaining 0.4% and 1.4%, respectively.

Qatar's index .QSI lost 0.3%, with Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA retreating 1%, while Commercial Bank COMB.QA was down 1.5%.

The Abu Dhabi index .AD slipped 0.1%, hurt by a 0.4% fall in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD and a 9% plunge in Invest Bank INVESTB.AD.

($1 = 3.7508 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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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