Middle Eastern Markets Climb With Oil, Stimulus Eyed: Inside EM

Stocks across the Middle East advanced, taking their cue from Friday’s rally in oil prices and amid further signs that governments are ready to do more to stimulate their virus-battered economies.

Israel’s TA-35 rose as much as 1.5% in Tel Aviv, heading for the first increase in four sessions. The government said after markets closed Thursday that unemployment benefits will remain in place through June 2021 while the jobless rate stays above 10%, as part of a relief program worth about 90 billion shekels ($26 billion).

In Dubai, the main index climbed as much as 0.5% after a new set of economic incentives worth 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.4 million) focused on reinforcing liquidity in companies and reducing the cost of conducting business. Still, S&P Global Ratings expects the city’s gross domestic product to shrink 11% this year amid subdued demand and low oil prices.

Some of Dubai’s new measures are likely to “be made permanent, because the target is to reduce the overall cost of doing business,” said Jaap Meijer, the head of equity research at Arqaam Capital in the emirate. “Even before pre-covid crisis, Dubai had realized the cost of doing business had become too high.”

Shares in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar and Egypt climbed as much as 2.1% after Brent crude advanced 2.1% to $43.24 per barrel on Friday.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 3.5% last week, the second consecutive week of gains
  • EM Review: Chinese Stock Surge Propels Markets to 4-Month High
  • MORE: IEA Warns Oil Demand Recovery at Risk From Virus Resurgence

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • S&P cut Dubai’s Emaar Properties and its subsidiary Emaar Malls from BBB-, the lowest investment grade, to BB+ and signaled that more downgrades may come

    • Emaar Properties -1.1%; Emaar Malls -2.7%
    • Read more about Dubai’s market on Sunday
  • Advanced Petrochem gains 0.8% even after reporting profit for the second quarter of SAR155m, 19% lower than last year

    • Co. got a SAR1.5b Islamic facility from three banks
    • READ: Advanced Petrochem Targets Asian Markets as Demand Rebounds
  • Saudi Telecom Co. extended a non-binding pact to buy Vodafone Group’s Egyptian business for two months, citing coronavirus logistical challenges

    • READ: Saudi Telecom Extends MoU to Buy Vodafone Egypt Stake
  • Amlak International will start trading in Riyadh on July 13
    • Co. raised about SAR435m in an IPO earlier this month
  • MORE: Lebanon Fences Off More of Its Economy Against Currency Crisis

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