DUBAI May 15 Most stock markets in the Gulf
were sluggish in early trade on Monday, although Saudi Arabia
edged up in response to a surge in oil prices after the Saudi
and Russian oil ministers agreed output cuts should be extended
until March 2018.
The Saudi index rose 0.3 percent in the first
half-hour, aided by petrochemicals, with Saudi Basic Industries
gaining by the same margin.
But PetroRabigh, which had tumbled by its 10
percent daily limit on Sunday after reporting a sharp widening
of its quarterly loss, sank a further 6.1 percent.
Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan added 2.4
percent after saying its board had accepted the resignation of
Abdulrehman Hamad al-Harkan as chief executive officer,
effective on June 1, for personal reasons. It did not name a new
Dubai's index slipped 0.3 percent with activity
focusing on builder Arabtec, the second most heavily
traded issue, and rights to subscribe to its capital increase
The underlying stock surged 6.2 percent to 0.81 dirham as
the rights, which began trading on Monday and will continue
through May 28, swung widely between 0.03 dirham and 0.199
Since the rights allow the underlying stock to be bought at
a price of 1.0 dirham, well above the stock's current market
price, they may never be exercised. But the price of the rights
is so low that some local investors see a good chance for
short-term speculation with minimal downside.
Shuaa Capital dropped 4.0 percent despite
reporting that it had swung to a first-quarter profit from a
year-earlier loss; total revenues shrank during the quarter.
Indexes in Abu Dhabi and Qatar were almost
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)