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Gulf mixed as
rising oil fails to
boost markets

Gulf mixed as <br/>rising oil fails to <br/>boost markets

Gulf stock markets ended mixed on Monday, with a strong oil price failing to give much of a boost to shares as investors focused on the blow to corporate earnings expected later this year from governments' austerity policies.
However, Qatar gained 0.8 percent, boosted by telecommunications operator Ooredoo, which climbed 2.1 percent.
Brent crude futures climbed more than 2 percent to as high as $49.08 a barrel on Monday, their highest level this year, after long-time bear Goldman Sachs said the oil market had ended almost two years of oversupply and flipped to a deficit.
This buoyed some Saudi petrochemical shares, with Saudi Kayan rising 0.7 percent and Sahara Petrochemical gaining 1.3 percent.
But the biggest petrochemical stock, Saudi Basic Industries , dropped 0.6 percent and the overall Saudi stock index closed just 0.1 percent higher in moderate trading volume.
Miner Ma'aden, which has jumped 44 percent in the past four weeks amid hopes that it will benefit from an emphasis on developing the sector that features in the government's economic reform plan, rose 1.5 percent to a nine-month closing high of 41.70 riyals.
In Dubai the stock index fell 0.4 percent in thin volume. Dubai Parks and Resorts dropped 1.5 percent to 1.28 dirhams after saying its 1.68 billion dirham ($458 million) rights issue was 64 percent subscribed on the first day.
Holders will have until May 18 to trade the rights, which allow the purchase of shares at 1 dirham each, so many investors may be selling the stock while planning to buy it back via the rights.
GFH Financial sank 1.4 percent. It had reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of $6.1 million for the first quarter of 2016, up 176 percent from a year earlier.
Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.7 percent, hit by a 2.4 percent slide in First Gulf Bank.
Egypt's index gained 0.5 percent as Orascom Telecom media added 2.9 percent. Its unit Beltone Financial is in the process of buying CI Capital, the investment banking arm of Commercial International Bank ; the bank said on Sunday that it had approved a further two-week extension for the offer, which will now expire on May 26.
Investment bank EFG Hermes rose 3.2 percent; analysts at Beltone came out with a positive report on EFG's first-quarter earnings and a"buy" rating on the company, saying its performance was exceptional across divisions.