MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf indexes rise as financial stocks gain


Aug 6 (Reuters) - Major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday, largely led by gains in financial shares, with many investors having returned from Eid Al-Adha holidays.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index .TASI gained 0.5%, driven by a 1% increase in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE and a 2.4% rise in Samba Financial Group 1090.SE.

Samba on Wednesday posted a 2% rise in quarterly net profit to 955 million riyals ($254.65 million), surviving a period marked by the coronavirus outbreak and weak interest rates.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI rose 0.7%, led by a 1.4% gain in Emirates NBD Bank ENBD.DU and a 3.1% jump in logistic firm Aramex ARMX.DU.

Aramex reported a second-quarter net profit of 94.4 million dirhams, down from 123.2 million dirhams a year ago, but higher than the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, foreign direct investment in Dubai fell by 74% in the first half of the year compared with the same period of 2019, as the pandemic stalled parts of the global economy.

The Middle East financial and trade centre drew in 12 billion dirhams ($3.3 billion) in the six months to June 30, the Dubai government said in a statement.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI was up 0.7%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD rising 0.7%, while telecoms firm Etisalat ETISALAT.AD added 1%.

In Qatar, which reopened after a one-week break for the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, the index edged up 0.2%, helped by a 2.4% increase in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar IQCD.QA.

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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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