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Most Middle East stocks rise; Abu Dhabi falls

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Feb 15 (Reuters) – Most stock markets in the Middle East closed higher on Wednesday, with Egypt’s index extending gains and Abu Dhabi shares retreating after oil prices fell.

Saudi Arabia’s Benchmark Index (.one) Climbed 0.7% with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE) Jumped 5.2%, Riyad Bank (1010.SE) It closed 2.7 percent higher.

Dubai main stock index (.one) Up 0.1 percent, thanks to Emaar Development up 3.9 percent (EMAARDEV.DU) A day later, it reported an increase in annual net profit.

Emaar Development, the real estate arm of blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR. YOU)posted a net profit of 3.81 billion dirhams ($1.04 billion), up from 3.24 billion dirhams a year earlier.

Egypt Blue Chip Index (.EGX30) It rose 0.5 percent, near a roughly five-year high.

Egyptians and Arabs were net buyers of stocks during the session, while non-Arab foreigners were net sellers, according to data on the exchange’s website.

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Last week, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly confirmed that Egypt plans to sell government stakes in 32 companies from the first quarter of this year to the end of the first quarter of 2024.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) fell 0.3 percent, dragged down by a 0.3 percent drop in conglomerate International Holding (IHC.AD).

Ahmed Negm, head of market research for the Middle East and North Africa at XS.com, said Abu Dhabi stocks remained volatile, while uncertainty over developments in the oil market increased.

Oil – the main catalyst for Gulf financial markets – fell for a second day as an industry report pointed to ample supply in the United States and expectations of further rate hikes raised concerns about fuel demand and the economic outlook.

Qatar Index (.QSI)In after-hours trading, Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.6 percent, boosted by a 5.3 percent gain in Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA).

However, Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA)Shares of the largest bank in the Gulf region fell 1.5 percent ex-dividend.

The Qatari market has stabilized somewhat, with gas prices having stopped falling in recent days, but downside risks remain, Nejm said.

($1 = 3.6729 UAE Dirhams)

By Ateeq Shariff from Bengaluru

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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