Major Middle Eastern stocks follow global rally

  • Sipchem and Maaden surge after strong earnings
  • Egyptian index ends losing streak
  • 29 out of 30 Egyptian stocks rise

Feb 27 (Reuters) – Major Middle Eastern stock markets closed higher on Sunday, following Friday’s rally in global stocks, as investors welcomed talk of renewed diplomacy after Ukraine invaded Ukraine. Russia, while strong corporate earnings gave further impetus to Saudi equities.

EU countries have agreed to freeze the European assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and the White House has announced US sanctions plans.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) rose 2.2% during the day before closing around 1%.

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Sahara International Petrochemical Company and Saudi Arabian Mining (Ma’aden)(1211.SE) were the biggest supporters of the Saudi index, rising 6.7% and 4.7% respectively after posting strong profits last year.

Ma’aden also announced the issuance of one free share for each share, raising the miner’s share capital to 24.61 billion riyals ($6.56 billion).

Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) jumped 2.6% after three consecutive days of declines, with all but one index closing in the green.

The country’s largest lender, Commercial International Bank Egypt (COMI.CA) and Cleopatra Hospitals (CLHO.CA) were the main contributors to the index, adding 3% and 11.4% respectively.

Egypt, often the world’s biggest wheat importer, is working on a plan to buy wheat from other regions rather than Russia and Ukraine. About 50% and 30% of Egypt’s wheat imports in 2021 came from these two countries respectively.

The Qatari index rose 0.2%, with Qatar Gas Transport (QGTS.QA) gaining 2.2% and Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) losing 1.2%.

($1 = 3.7516 riyals)

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Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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