Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose early on Sunday, backed by gains in banking shares after Alinma Bank proposed a higher annual dividend, while blue chips pulled Qatar’s index down.
United Arab Emirates markets were closed for public holiday, while other Gulf markets were mixed in lacklustre trade.
The Saudi index rose 1.1 percent in the first 55 minutes as Alinma Bank surged 4.1 percent after proposing a 1.0 riyal dividend for 2018, up from 0.8 riyal for 2017. Al Rajhi Bank rose 1.2 percent, and petrochemical giant SABIC added 1.0 percent.
Out of 176 Saudi stocks traded, 154 advanced and only 16 declined.
In Qatar, the index lost 0.4 percent on big declines by a number of leading stocks, with losers outnumbering gainers by 20 to 13. Industries Qatar fell 1.9 percent, Masraf Al Rayan lost 1.7 percent and Qatar Commercial Bank went down 2.1 percent.
In Kuwait, the market was almost flat with the premier index rising only 0.2 percent. National Bank of Kuwait added 0.5 percent while Global Finance House lost 2.4 percent.
Oman and Bahrain were flat.