Gulf stock markets were mixed before an Opec meeting later yesterday to discuss coordinated action among oil producers to support prices.
Egypt’s market rose as a newly listed healthcare stock performed strongly.
Riyadh’s stock index added 0.5% with support from some petrochemical shares as Brent oil held near $50 a barrel.
Saudi Basic Industries climbed 1.5%. Low-cost supermarket operator Abdullah al-Othaim jumped 2.1 % to 99.00 riyals, its highest close since August 2015, in heavy trade.
The stock is approaching its mean fair value of 108.27 riyals, according to a Reuters survey of analysts.
Of 12 analysts, seven have a “buy” rating on Othaim and the rest a “hold”.
Healthcare stocks also advanced with National Medical Care gaining 2.6%.
But Dubai’s index dropped 1.6%, weighed down by a 1.2% decline in blue chip Dubai Islamic Bank.
Shuaa Capital, which had surged 6.3% on Wednesday after Reuters identified several bidders for a stake in it, fell back 4.4%.
The banking sector was the main drag on Abu Dhabi’s index, which declined 0.7%.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 3.5%.
Cairo’s main index rose 0.6% to 7,618 points, nearing minor technical resistance at its mid-May peak of 7,670 points.
Cleopatra Hospital Holding jumped 6.9% from its initial public offer price to 9.62 Egyptian pounds on its first day of trade.
Sigma Capital suggested a target price for the stock of 11.66 pounds, saying Egypt’s healthcare sector was highly regarded but lacked representation on the bourse.
Investment bank EFG Hermes rose 1.6% to an 11-month closing high.
It has been in an uptrend since mid-May.
Dubai Group has said it will divest its 11.8% stake in EFG by the end of this year and investors are hoping a strategic shareholder could benefit the company.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index edged up 0.1 % to 5,377 points; Oman’s
index was flat at 5,820 points, while Bahrain’s index added 1.0 % to 1,116 points.
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