MidEast Stocks Gain, Saudi Arabia Gets Boost from Banking Shares
Middle East shares rose, with Saudi Arabia gaining with help from strong banking stocks.
Investors believe US interest will boost banks' net margins there. Saudi Arabia's currency is pegged to the US dollar and as the US appears to be raising interest rates soon, Saudi banks will benefit. "A substantial proportion of Saudi banks' deposits are interest-free Islamic deposits, so net interest margins are strongly geared to a rising interest rate environment," Fahd Iqbal, head of Middle East research at Credit Suisse, said, according to Reuters.
Saudi Arabia's main index added 0.5% to 10,716 points, Egypt gained 0.5% to 9,437 points, Dubai firmed 0.1% to 4,856 points, Abu Dhabi inched up 0.03% to 5,055 points, Kuwait inched higher 0.4% to 7,340 points,Oman gained 0.3% to 7,340 points, Qatar was flat at 13,683 points and Bahrain firmed 0.1% to 1,477 points.
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