Middle East

Gulf bourses rise as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease

Feb 16 (Reuters) – Shares in the Gulf region rose on Wednesday, buoyed by global positive sentiment, as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine this week dissipated after Moscow indicated it was returning some troops to base in an apparent de-escalation.

Oil prices lost marginally to $93.90 a barrel at 0722 GMT, as investors gauged the impact of easing Russia-Ukraine tension against a taut balance between tight global supplies and recovering fuel demand.

Russia’s defence ministry published a video that it said showed a column of tanks and military vehicles leaving annexed Crimea across a railway bridge after drills, adding that some troops would also return to their permanent bases. read more

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that more than 150,000 Russian troops were still amassed near Ukraine’s borders after Moscow’s announcement of a partial pullback was met with scepticism.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) rose the most, up 0.6% in its second straight day of gains, with nearly all stocks in the green.

Shares of National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) (TABR.DU) were up marginally, after its Chief Executive Officer Khalid Abdulla Al Marzooqi said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV that the company was considering an acquisition in Oman and expanding into Egyptian and other Gulf markets. read more

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) advanced 0.3%.

The Qatari index (.QSI) traded 0.2% higher, driven by Qatar Fuel and Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA).

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) was trading nearly flat.

Zain Saudi (7030.SE) shares rose 3.6%, after the telecommunications company on Tuesday approved final offers to buy stakes in Zain KSA’s Towers Infrastructure.

Saudi British Bank (1060.SE) was up 1.1% after the company reported a profit for the full year.

Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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