October 16, 2017 / 2:21 PM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market rebounds on banks, oil prices

* Oil price surge boosts Saudi petrochemicals

* Alinma Bank jumps 5.1 percent on earnings beat

* Insurance sector rebounds

* Qatar falls but QNB stays firm

* Egyptian banks still weak after reserve ratio decision

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rebounded on Monday as higher oil prices boosted petrochemical shares while banks rose in response to Alinma Bank’s better-than-expected earnings.

The main Saudi index gained 0.6 percent as tensions between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan lifted oil sharply. PetroRabigh rose 2.1 percent and Petrochem added 1.2 percent, while mining firm Ma‘aden was up 2.1 percent.

Alinma Bank jumped 5.1 percent and was the most heavily traded stock; it reported third-quarter net profit of 542 million riyals ($145 million), up from 312 million riyals a year ago. Analysts had on average forecast 493 million riyals.

Other Saudi banks, which have yet to report earnings, were generally firm. Al Rajhi Bank was up 1.1 percent while Bank Aljazira jumped 2.7 percent. National Commercial Bank was one the few banks to fall, losing 0.5 percent.

The insurance sector, which sank last week on expectations of a shakeout in the sector caused by tougher regulation, rebounded with AXA Cooperative adding 4.1 percent.

Egypt’s main index fell 2.7 percent to 13,525 points because of a drop in the banking sector, with Commercial International Bank losing 2.8 percent.

“The market keeps correcting after it hit 14,000 points earlier this month, and banks are still suffering from the central bank’s decision to raise the required reserve ratio” two weeks ago, said Ibrahim Nimr, head of technical analysis at Naeem brokerage in Cairo.

Dubai’s index was flat as Emaar Properties lost 0.6 percent. Abu Dhabi inched up 0.1 percent but Aldar Properties gained 2.9 percent in its heaviest trade since June.

Dana Gas, which is fighting sukuk holders in courts in Britain and the United Arab Emirates, arguing it does not need to redeem the instruments because they have become invalid, extended Sunday’s slide, falling a further 1.3 percent.

Qatar’s index lost 0.5 percent although Qatar National Bank rose 0.6 percent, after reporting solid third-quarter earnings last week.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.6 percent to 6,977 points.

DUBAI

* The index was flat at 3,657 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index inched up 0.1 percent to 4,524 points.

QATAR

* The index edged down 0.5 percent to 8,300 points.

EGYPT

* The index fell 2.7 percent to 13,525 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 6,636 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 1,278 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.9 percent to 5,095 points. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Andrew Torchia/Mark Heinrich)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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