Gulf stock markets trade near flat

Bourses in the Gulf traded near flat in early trade on Sunday with shares Saudi Arabia’s third largest telecom operator surging after securing a refinancing loan.

Zain Saudi Arabia jumped 6.7 per cent after the telecom operator said in a bourse statement on Sunday it has signed a 2.25-billion Saudi riyal loan refinancing with a group of four local banks.

The company is currently trading below its mean target price of 9.64 riyals, according to the average of 9 analysts polled by Reuters.

Shares in Advanced Petrochemical rose 0.4 per cent to 48.80 riyals after the company announced on Sunday it has started operations at its South Korean joint venture PDH Plant. The financial impact of the new operations will be reflected in the second quarter of 2016, the company added.

Advanced is expected to pay a cash dividend of 0.75 riyals per share for the first half of the year on July 3.

Other petrochemical shares were mixed, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical gaining 1.6 per cent, but Saudi Basic Industries the largest producer, falling 0.3 per cent.

The main index was up 0.1 per cent after 50 minutes of trade.

Dubai’s index reversed earlier losses and added 0.2 per cent with Shuaa Capital adding 1.2 per cent.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that several local investment firms were among the bidders for Dubai Group’s 48.4 per cent stake in Islamic financial firm Shuaa.

But builder Drake & Scull and amusement park developer Dubai Parks and Resorts were each down more than 1.0 per cent. Combined they made up 28 per cent of the total volume.

Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas and Abu Dhabi National Energy each dropped more than 1.5 per cent.

After market close of Thursday Taqa announced its chief operating officer, Edward LaFehr, is leaving the company for personal reasons and that Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri will take over as acting chief operating officer, effective June 22.

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