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Gulf Markets Mixed in Early Trade, Ma’aden Soars in Saudi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A general view of Dubai’s cityscape September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Sunday, as Saudi Arabia’s bourse propped up by commodity-related shares while banks weighed on United Arab Emirates indexes.

Shares in Saudi Arabian Mining Co jumped 9.5 percent, their daily limit, after the miner reshuffled its board reshuffle in response to the government’s plans for developing the mining sector.
The Gulf’s largest miner said on Thursday it had appointed Khalid al-Faleh as chairman of its board. Faleh is chairman of state-run Saudi Aramco.

Developing the Saudi mining industry and turning Aramco into a diversified industrial conglomerate are major planks of the national economic reform plan announced last week.

Saudi Basic Industries added 1.2 percent; Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Issa, a board member of Saudi Basic Industries, will also join Ma’aden’s board. The main Saudi stock index was up 0.1 percent after an hour of trade.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, the mood was weaker. Abu Dhabi banks remained soft after disappointing first-quarter earnings last week; the main index fell 0.7 percent. Heavyweight First Gulf Bank was down 1.2 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 2.4 percent.

But Union National Bank rose 2.2 percent despite weak results from blue-chip Abu Dhabi banks last week and posting a 27 percent drop in first-quarter net profit attributable to equity holders to 447 million dirhams ($121.76 million). Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 314.00 million dirhams and 454.30 million dirhams.

Shares in UNB dropped 4.5 percent last week as other Abu Dhabi bank shares slumped.

Dubai’s index fell 0.9 percent. Emaar Properties , which has not yet reported earnings, fell 1.0 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank, which reported a drop in profits last week, lost 0.9 percent.

But Gulf Navigation jumped 6.5 percent in significant high trading volume. The ship operator has not yet reported its quarterly results.