November 24, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 12 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises for a sixth day, Dubai gains on financials

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Sunday and was set for a sixth straight session of gains, led by banking shares, which also bolstered the Dubai index.

The benchmark Saudi index edged up 0.1%, with the kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank increasing 1.6%, and Saudi British Bank gaining 1%.

The country’s banking sector continues to enjoy a high level of liquidity, the kingdom’s central bank governor said on Sunday.

The statement could allay market fears that Saudi oil giant Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) - which could be the world’s largest so far - might soak up market liquidity as Saudi investors direct their wealth towards the offering.

The IPO has attracted approximately 73 billion riyals ($19.5 billion) in institutional and retail orders so far, Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group said on Thursday.

The Dubai index rose 0.3%, helped by a 0.4% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 3% gain in its top lender Emirates NBD.

Qatar’s index inched up 0.1%, as Qatar International Islamic Bank advanced 2.2% and the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank added 0.3%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was flat, with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank easing 0.1%, but Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank up 0.8%.

$1 = 3.7500 riyals Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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