Saudi’s stock market falls for a fourth day on geopolitical concerns

Saudi’s index fell 0.8 per cent with nearly all its banks slipping

Saudi Arabia’s stock market dropped for a fourth straight day on Monday as geopolitical concerns in the Gulf region weighed.

Yemen’s Houthi movement attacked Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Sunday, killing one person and wounding 21 others, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said.

Read: One dead, 21 wounded in Houthi attack on Saudi airport

And tensions between Iran and the United States remained high after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would announce “significant” sanctions against Tehran.

Saudi’s index fell 0.8 per cent with nearly all its banks slipping. The kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank dropped 1.8 per cent, while its biggest petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries was down 1.2 per cent.

Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi plunged 4.9 per cent after a sale and leaseback of its communication towers was cancelled as the buyer IHS Holding was denied a license from the telecoms regulator.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.3 per cent boosted by real estate stocks. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties climbed 2 per cent, while builder Arabtec Holding increased 2.7 per cent after on of its unit secured additional Dhs315m ($85.77m) in a contract from Tecnicas Reunidas.

The Abu Dhbai index was up 0.2 per cent, lifted by a 1.6 per cent gain in Aldar Properties and a 0.3 per cent rise in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender.