Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

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(Reuters) – Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Sunday, with gains in petrochemical shares boosting the Saudi bourse, while Qatar National Bank weighed on the Qatari index.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI rose 1.2%, with petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE advancing 6.4% and Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE up 1.1%.

The kingdom’s biggest lender National Commercial Bank 1180.SE (NCB) said on Sunday it has entered into a binding merger agreement with Samba Financial Group 1090.SE, a smaller bank, to create a combined entity with 837 billion riyals ($223.16 billion) in assets.

The Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL) had suspended trading on shares of the lenders upon their requests.

Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI closed up 0.4%, led by a 2.9% rise in Aramex ARMX.DU and a 3.7% jump in budget airliner Air Arabia AIRA.DU.

On Thursday, Aramex said it will book provisions of $15.1 million for damage caused to its warehouse facility in Beirut and partial damage to three storage chambers in Casablanca.

The logistics firm, however, said it maintains comprehensive insurance coverage policies which should cover both incidents.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI fell 0.4%, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD losing 0.9% and aquaculture firm International Holding IHC.AD down 1%.

In Qatar, the index .QSI eased 0.3%, pressured by a 1.7% fall in Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA (QNB) after the Gulf’s largest lender saw a roughly 18% decline in its third-quarter profit as it booked more loan loss provisions amid global economic uncertainty.

The lender reported a net profit of 3.1 billion riyals ($851.39 million) in the third quarter compared to 3.8 billion riyals, according to Reuters calculations.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru

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