The Saudi Arabian stock market remained in positive territory on Sunday after rebounding late last week from several days of profit-taking, while a pullback by two blue chips dragged down Abu Dhabi.
The Saudi stock index closed up 0.2 percent. Food and beverage company Almarai added 3.5 percent after announcing first-quarter net profit of 344 million riyals ($91.7 million) against 328 million riyals in 2017.
Loss-making home furnishings maker Al Sorayai Trading was the best performer, adding a further
10 percent after it jumped last week as its chief executive resigned.
Saudi Cement and City Cement Co. rose 8.3 percent and 3.4 percent respectively. Bank Aljazira was the strongest bank, gaining 3.5 percent after it said its rights issue of 300 million shares had been 90 percent subscribed at the end of the subscription period.
Exchange data released after the close on Sunday showed foreign investors bought a net $229 million of Saudi stocks last week, one of the highest totals this year despite a wave of profit-taking after FTSE Russell decided to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status.
In Kuwait, the market rebounded for the first time since authorities divided it into three segments a week ago as part of reforms designed to boost liquidity and attract more foreign money. The index for the premier market rose 0.9 percent. Abu Dhabi fell 1.8 percent, with FAB losing 2.4 percent and telecommunications firm Etisalat sliding 1.7 percent.
Dubai lost 0.4 percent as Gulf General Investment tumbled 9.8 percent. The conglomerate is in talks with lenders to restructure loans and credit lines after having defaulted on a debt repayment last year; it said on Sunday it plans a proposed capital reduction to 586 million dirhams from 1.7 billion dirhams.