MIDEAST STOCKS: Gulf rises, Saudi gets support from cement sector

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DUBAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets rose in
early trade on Monday with Saudi Arabia getting support from Al
Jouf Cement and Saudi Industrial Export Co
after the companies announced an export deal with Jordan.

The Saudi index climbed 0.6 percent in the first
hour as Al Jouf surged 5.0 percent and Saudi Industrial Export
Co jumped 6.4 percent in unusually heavy trade.

Saudi Industrial Export said it had signed a sale and
marketing contract with Al Jouf to supply 72,000 tonnes of
cement annually to Jordan.

Saudi cement firms have been hit by a domestic construction
industry slowdown, and the Jordan deal appears to marks one of
the industry’s first major export successes, after the Saudi
government said in July that it was slashing cement export
tariffs by 50 percent.

Saudi banks also rose, led by Bank Aljazira, which
gained 1.5 percent, and National Commercial Bank, the
kingdom’s biggest lender, which added 0.3 percent.

In Qatar, the main index rebounded 0.7 percent as
real estate firm Ezdan Holding, which was downgraded
to junk status by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s earlier
this month, climbed 3.5 percent. It has been recovering since
late last week but is still down 48 percent year-to-date.

Dubai’s index was flat to higher although Drake &
Scull rose 1.2 percent after it announced that its
shares had been included in the MSCI GCC index. That index
covers about 85 percent of the free float-adjusted market
capitalisation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and is less
exclusive than MSCI’s emerging markets index, which is used by
many more funds.
(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Andrew Torchia,
William Maclean)