MIDEAST STOCKS-Egyptian shares fall while Saudi index holds steady
By Ateeq Shariff
July 16 (Reuters) - Egyptian shares dropped to a six-week low on Thursday as investors fled stocks across the board, while the Saudi index was little changed after OPEC and its allies agreed to taper record oil supply curbs from next month.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Wednesday to scale back production cuts from August as the global economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude oil producer, edged up 0.1% with Saudi British Bank 1060.SE advancing 2.6% while petrochemicals group Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE eased 0.2%.
Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 fell by 1.7%, hitting its lowest since June 4, with 22 of 30 stocks ending in negative territory. Commercial International Bank COMI.CA retreated 2.5%.
Dubai's main index .DFMGI ended 0.2% up, supported by a 1.9% fall in Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, ending four straight sessions of losses.
A downgrade last week of Dubai's flagship real estate company, Emaar Properties, is likely to push up the emirate's borrowing costs if it decides to refinance $750 million in bonds due in October, Reuters reported, citing bankers and analysts.
The credit ratings of government-related entities are often seen by investors as a proxy for Dubai, which is not rated by any of the major ratings agencies.
S&P Global Ratings downgraded Emaar to a BB+ "junk" rating from an investment grade BBB-, saying it expected a 30-40% slump in the company's earnings this year.
The Abu Dhabi index .ADI, which lost 1.6% in the previous session, rebounded 1.3%, buoyed by a 2.6% gain for the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD.
In Qatar, the index .QSI eased 0.9% as petrochemicals company Industries Qatar IQCD.QA lost 3.6% and Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA declined 2.3%.
.TASI rose 0.1% to 7,427 points
.ADI gained 1.3% to 4,274 points
.DFMGI added 0.2% to 2,053 points
.QSI lost 0.9% to 9,311 points
.EGX30 down 1.7% to 10,441 points
.BAX slipped 0.1% to 1,302 points
.MSI eased 0.3% to 3,450 points
.BKP declined 0.9% to 5,502 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman )
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