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Major Gulf indexes end mixed, few fresh factors

Ateeq Shariff
·1-min read
Investors walk under a stock index board at the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai

By Ateeq Shariff

(Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Sunday, in the absence of fresh factors to trade on, with property shares weighing on the Dubai index.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.7%, ending two sessions of losses, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1% and Banque Saudi Fransi climbing 3.8%.

The kingdom's food and drug administration has approved the COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing state TV.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.3%, hit by a 0.8% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 2.5% slide in DAMAC Properties.

Last week, DAMAC, the owner of the Middle East's only Trump-branded golf course, located in Dubai, said the emirate's property market in general had been adversely affected by the pandemic. Its chairman Hussain Sajwani said it would take at least 12-24 months to see a "substantial recovery".

DAMAC posted a net loss of 37 million dirham a year earlier.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.2%, supported by a 0.8% increase in telecoms firm Etisalat.

Meanwhile, sovereign wealth and public pension funds are bolstering their funding of private debt, with close to $9 billion committed since the COVID-19 crisis as they hunt for yield and their ample liquidity allows them to take on more risk than banks.

The Qatari index eased 0.1%, with Commercial Bank shedding 2.2%

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.4%, bolstered by a 1.1% rise in top lender Commercial International Bank.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)