World Markets

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most major Gulf markets fall; Qatar rises

Credit: REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED

Most major stock markets in the Gulf fell on Tuesday, with the Dubai index hit by losses in top lender Emirates NBD, while Qatar bucked the trend.

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Most major stock markets in the Gulf fell on Tuesday, with the Dubai index hit by losses in top lender Emirates NBD, while Qatar bucked the trend.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index .TASI dropped 0.7%, with oil behemoth Saudi Aramco 2222.SE declining 1% and Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE losing 0.3%.

Saudi Aramco and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE have decided to re-evaluate their $20 billion crude-oil-to-chemicals project and are now looking at integrating existing facilities instead.

The decision comes as oil companies globally re-assess energy projects to conserve cash, with a collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic threatening to keep crude prices weak for a long time.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI fell 0.6%, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in its biggest bank Emirates NBD ENBD.DU following a sharp decline in quarterly profit, as bad debt charges rose due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In the third quarter net profit fell to 1.56 billion dirhams ($424.7 million) from 5 billion dirhams last year when the bottom line was boosted by a stake sale in payments processor Network International NETW.L.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI eased 0.1%, hurt by a 0.9% drop in Aldar Properties ALDAR.AD and a 0.5% decrease in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ADCB.AD.

In Qatar, the index .QSI rose 0.4%, with the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA advancing 2%, while Qatar Gas Transport Company QGTS.QA was up 1.1%.

The gas transporter on Monday reported net profit of 900 million riyals ($247.25 million), a 23.6% jump compared to year ago profit.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)

((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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