Egypt's blue-chip shares rose sharply on Monday, boosted by financial shares amid talks over possible further assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while banking shares dragged down Saudi stocks. Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1.5% in its first day of trading since the central bank governor said Cairo was in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on further assistance to help it carry out structural reforms.
Egypt's current $12 billion three-year IMF program ends next month. Commercial International Bank gained 1.6% and El Sewedy Electric rose 4.2%. Iron Steel jumped 5.5% while Ezz Steel soared 18.1%, its sharpest single-day percentage gain since March 2016. Egypt has lowered the domestic price of gas for the cement industry to $6 per million Btu from $8 and to $5.50 per million Btu for metals and ceramics sector from $7.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 1.1% as Al Rajhi Bank fell 1.1% and Riyad Bank shed 2.8%. Saudi Advanced Industries plunged 7.8%, its biggest intra-day fall since November 2017. The firm said an agreement for the sale of its 10% stake in Alsalam Aerospace Industries was extended for a period of six months. But Abdullah Saad Mohammed Abo Moati Stationeries and Al Aseel Company, which trade on the secondary Saudi market NOMU, surged 17.7% and 4.7% respectively following board approvals to move their listing onto the main index.
Qatar's index slid 0.1%. The Gulf's largest Insurer, Qatar Insurance, dropped 2.1%, while Commercial Bank eased 0.9%. In Dubai the index rose 0.8%, extending gains for a third straight session, boosted by advances in banking shares. Dubai Islamic Bank increased 1.9%, while Mashreq Bank soared 13.6% after the lender said its board would approve the third-quarter results next week.
Abu Dhabi's index also edged up 0.8%. Emirates Telecommunications Group, which uses Huawei's 5G technology, advanced 1.4%. On Sunday, the chief technological officer of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications said that it saw no evidence of security concerns about Huawei's 5G technology. The United States had raised its concerns with Gulf allies over a possible security risk in using Huawei technology for their 5G mobile infrastructure.