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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi gains ahead of MSCI entry, banks lift most Gulf markets

Credit: REUTERS/JUMANA EL HELOUEH

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Wednesday with most of its banks gaining ahead of MSCI entry later this month. Lenders also lifted most major Gulf bourses.

May 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Wednesday with most of its banks gaining ahead of MSCI entry later this month. Lenders also lifted most major Gulf bourses.

Saudi's index .TASI was up 0.9% in early trade. Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE increased 1%, petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE added 0.9% and Saudi Telecom 7010.SE was 1.9% higher.

The three stocks will be the largest additions to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index measured by full company market capitalization.

MSCI last week said it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index, effective May 28, a move that could draw billions of dollars into the market.

However, Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres 4321.SE fell 5.8% to 24.5 riyals from its initial public offer price of 26 riyals.

Arabian Centres' share sale, which raised 2.47 billion riyals ($658.65 million), was the kingdom's third biggest since Saudi lender National Commercial Bank 1180.SE raised $6 billion in 2014, according to Refinitiv data

In Dubai, the index .DFMGI was up 0.7% after rebounding 1% last session from a four-day losing streak. Banks led the gains with the emirate's largest lender, Emirates NBD ENBD.DU, adding 1.4% and Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU up 1%.

The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that it will grant 6,800 foreign investors permanent residency under a new "Golden Card" system after they invested a combined 100 billion dirhams ($27.23 billion) in the Gulf state.

Banks also pushed the Qatar index .QSI 0.3% higher. Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, the Middle East's biggest lender, rose 0.9% while the blue-chip petrochemical maker Industries Qatar IQCD.QA traded 1% higher.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI traded flat with Dana Gas DANA.AD rising 1% after the energy firm on Tuesday said it had started drilling operations at Merak-1 well, offshore Egypt.

($1 = 3.7501 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)

((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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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