Major Gulf Shares Extend Gains amid Relief as Tension Eases

Major Gulf Shares Extend Gains amid Relief as Tension Eases

DUBAI, UAE – All major gulf shares extended its gains from previous trading sessions to open higher on Sunday as the tension between the US and Iran eases with no new headlines coming out after the death of the Iranian commander over the airstrike by the US in Baghdad.

In the previous week, the US President Donald Trump has backed away from his angry statements against Iran as both countries try to resolve the escalating tensions after the US killing Qassem Soleimani, a famed Iranian military commander.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s index ride in on the easing US-Iran tension and recorded gains early in the day of around 0.7%. The index is on its way to outperforming its regional peers after being boosted by the advance in both the petrochemical and financial shares. The Banquet Saudi Francis and the Al Rajhi Bank gained by 1.5% and 0.6%, respectively.

The advanced Petrochemical shares also rose for the day by around 1.9% following its latest report of its estimated annual profit, which increased by 5.9% to reach $202 million (759 million riyals).

On the other hand, Saudi Aramco shares on Sunday were mostly trading flat.

Meanwhile, the oil behemoth stated today that it had worked towards its greenshoe option to unload and offer additional shares of around 450 million, which would raise its initial public offering to a heaping $29.4 billion. Even before this addition to its IPO, Saudi Aramco has already snagged the highest IPO after recording a massive $25.6 billion in December after offering around 3 billion of its stocks in the public worth 32 riyals per share.

In the Qatar market, the index was also optimistic over the easing tension between the US and Iran and recorded a 0.3% advance on Sunday. The increase was also boosted by the 0.6% rise in the Qatar Islamic Bank and the 1% gains of Industries Qatar.

The major index in Dubai also edged higher by 0.1% following the 0.3% advanced of the blue-chip Emaar Properties.

After the statement of Amanat Holdings saying that it is currently assessing the possibility of acquiring shares on the VPS group’s Middle East operations, the stocks of the healthcare and education investment company also rose for the day by a significant 2.3%.

Among the major gulf shares that took advantage of the easing US-Iran tensions is the Abu Dhabi’s index, which recorded a modest 0.1% on Sunday. Aside from the lack of major headlines between the US and Iran, the index was largely boosted by the 0.2% gains in the Emirates Telecom Group shares.

Meanwhile, Oman and Kuwait stock markets were closed for the day after the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman,  with trading to resume on Tuesday.

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