July 7, 2020 / 8:09 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets gain; banking, real estate shares boost UAE

July 7 (Reuters) - Major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Tuesday, with banking and real estate shares helping indexes in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai’s main share index rose 0.5%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD rising 0.7% and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was up 1.1%.

Elsewhere, Arabtec Holding advanced 2.8%. The region’s largest listed contractor appointed Waleed Ahmed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi as chairman.

The Abu Dhabi index traded 0.5% up, as the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 0.9%, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was up 1.3%, a day after the sharia-compliant lender said it had raised its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.

However, the gains were capped by losses at Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, which retreated 1.7% after announcing financial closing of its largest independent gas-fired power plant in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.2%. Riyad Bank gained 1.6% and oil giant Saudi Aramco was up 0.5%.

In Qatar, the index rose 0.4%, driven by a 0.8% gain in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 0.7% increase in the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar exceeded 100,000 on Monday, its health ministry said.

With a population of about 2.8 million people, the energy-rich Gulf state has one of the world’s highest per capita numbers of confirmed cases. (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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