Mid­dle East bourses face sell-off as in­vestors pre­pare for Aramco of­fer­ing

The National - News - - BUSINESS | IN DEPTH -

Most Mid­dle East­ern mar­kets dropped yes­ter­day as in­vestors ap­peared to have off­loaded their po­si­tions to in­vest back into Saudi Aramco’s ini­tial public of­fer­ing, which was over­sub­scribed by about twice the num­ber of shares on of­fer.

In­sti­tu­tional in­vestors have al­ready put in 144.1 bil­lion riyals worth of bids for Aramco’s planned IPO, which is more than dou­ble the cap­i­tal it seeks to raise from in­sti­tu­tions, fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers for the IPO said yes­ter­day. They still have un­til close of busi­ness on Thurs­day to place bids.

Saudi Ara­bia’s bench­mark in­dex closed down 0.9 per cent at 7,833 points with Al Ra­jhi Bank slip­ping 1 per cent and Sabic shed­ding 1.9 per cent. Lee­jam Sports Com­pany lost 1.1 per cent af­ter the gym net­work op­er­a­tor pro­posed a lower div­i­dend for the third quar­ter com­pared with the same pe­riod last year. The com­pany re­ported strong third quar­ter re­sults last month, with rev­enue in­creas­ing 13 per cent year-on-year to 238 mil­lion riyals, although net profit fell 9.2 per cent, mainly as a re­sult of one-off costs, to 48.8m riyals.

Egypt’s blue-chip in­dex dropped 1.7 per cent to 13,538 points as most of its mem­bers traded lower. Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank Egypt fell 1 per cent and El Sewedy Elec­tric de­clined 4.7 per cent. Lo­cal and Arab for­eign in­vestors were net sell­ers of Egyp­tian shares, ac­cord­ing to stock ex­change data.

How­ever, Kuwait’s in­dex closed up 0.4 per cent at 6,662 points, buoyed by gains in bank­ing shares. Na­tional Bank of Kuwait edged up 0.1 per cent. Kuwait Fi­nance House added a fur­ther 0.8 per cent to its pre­vi­ous ses­sion’s gain fol­low­ing Bahrain cen­tral bank’s ap­proval of its planned ac­qui­si­tion of Ahli United Bank.

The Bahrain mar­ket was up 0.3 per cent to 1,538 points. Alu­minium Bahrain pub­lished a state­ment is­sued at its board meet­ing on Sun­day which said its Line 6 ex­pan­sion project was now fully on stream, and that it ex­pected pro­duc­tion for 2019 to top 1.35 mil­lion tonnes as a re­sult.

“With Line 6 fully on stream, we are now ac­tively seek­ing to ex­pand our prod­ucts’ port­fo­lio and in­crease our sales with a ma­jor em­pha­sis on the US mar­ket,” said chair­man Sheikh Daij bin Sal­man.

The Oman mar­ket closed flat at 4,075 points. Dubai and Abu

SHEIKH DAIJ BIN SAL­MAN Alu­minium Bahrain chair­man

Dhabi stock mar­kets re­main closed a for three-day public hol­i­day and will re­sume trad­ing to­mor­row.

Asian stocks had fin­ished Mon­day’s trad­ing ses­sion largely thanka to stronger eco­nomic data emerg­ing from China. The monthly pur­chas­ing man­agers’ in­dex, which tracks ac­tiv­ity in the coun­try’s pri­vate sec­tor, rose to 51.8 in Novem­ber from 51.7 in the pre­vi­ous month, mark­ing the fastest ex­pan­sion since De­cem­ber 2016. A read­ing above 50 in­di­cates an econ­omy in ex­pan­sion, whereas a score be­low 50 in­di­cates con­trac­tion.

The Hang Seng in­dex closed up 0.4 per cent at 26,444.72, while the China En­ter­prises In­dex rose 0.6 per cent to 10,363.91. In Ja­pan, the Nikkei 225 in­dex closed 1.01 per cent higher.

We are now ac­tively seek­ing to ex­pand our prod­ucts’ port­fo­lio with a ma­jor em­pha­sis on the US mar­ket

Reuters

Egypt’s blue-chip ex­change dipped, with Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank and El Sewedy Elec­tric among shares clos­ing lower

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