Qatar Shares Lead Gulf Advance on Global Growth Confidence; Saudi Declines

Qatar shares advanced to the highest level this month, leading Gulf markets higher, on increased confidence in the global recovery after Singapore raised its economic growth forecast. Saudi shares retreated as oil fell.

The QE Index climbed 0.9 percent to 7,018.48, the highest since June 28. Qatar Islamic Bank, the Gulf state’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender, led the gain. Qatar Insurance Co. advanced 4.1 percent, the most in two months. The Bloomberg GCC 200 slipped 0.1 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.7 percent.

“Gains in global markets, especially Asia, helped push up local shares,” said Humam al-Shamaa, economic adviser at Al- Fajer Securities LLC, a U.A.E. brokerage.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index climbed 1.4 percent, poised for the highest close since June 22, after Singapore raised its growth forecast for a third time this year as manufacturing output surged and after Intel Corp., the world’s biggest chipmaker, raised its profit forecast. The MSCI World Index of developed nations added 0.1 percent.

Oil for August delivery retreated 0.9 percent to $76.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Saudi Arabia holds 21 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.

Qatar Islamic Bank increased 1.5 percent to 75 riyals, the highest since May 18. The company with the third-heaviest weighting on Qatar’s index posted a first-half profit of 601 million riyals ($165 million) after the market closed. It didn’t give comparative figures. Qatar Insurance advanced the most since May 10, increasing to 68.7 riyals.

In Saudi Arabia, Filing & Packing Materials Manufacturing Co., the plastic-bag maker, decreased 5.6 percent, the most since May 25, to 26.8 riyals, after it said second-quarter profit fell 26 percent to 2.95 million riyals ($786,708).

Dubai’s DFM General Index declined 0.2 percent after earlier climbing as much as 0.7 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index rose 0.2 percent and Bahrain’s gauge added less than 0.1 percent. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark increased 0.4 percent and the Kuwait Stock Exchange Index gained 0.6 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

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