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DUBAI – Reuters: Stock markets in the Gulf closed lower on Sunday, following a sharp drop in oil prices on Friday, due to fears of a slow economic recovery from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Russian Deputy Energy Minister, Pavel Sorokin, said yesterday that global oil demand may take two or three years to return to pre-Corona pandemic levels, with the improvement of air traffic around the world.
In an interview with “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” newspaper published on Sunday, he said that the recovery of the global economy and the increasing demand in Asia and Latin America may stimulate the use of oil, but he pointed out that the recovery may slow down once consumption reaches about 93-94% of what it was before. .
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak recently said that global oil consumption has recovered to 90% of pre-pandemic levels, and that it will reach a full recovery next year.
Regarding natural gas supplies, Sorokin expected that the current surplus in natural gas supplies will continue for many years, depending on how quickly the market absorbs the additional quantities of US liquefied gas.
He pointed out that, unlike the “OPEC +” alliance, gas producers do not have a mechanism or agreement through which production restrictions are put in place, so the surplus gas will need some time to achieve the balance by itself. Sorokin indicated that Russia’s natural gas and LNG producers will remain competitive thanks to lower production costs.
Brent crude fell $ 1.41, equivalent to 3.2 percent, to determine the settlement price at $ 42.66 a barrel. The main Saudi bourse index fell 0.3 percent. Shares of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) lost 1.9 percent and “Riyad Bank” 1.7 percent.
SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemical company, sold $ 1 billion in double-tranche bonds on Thursday, amid increased activity in Gulf debt markets after the summer holiday.
The main Dubai index fell 1.1 percent, due to a drop of 2 percent by Emaar Properties, the leader, and by 0.9 percent for Emirates NBD.
In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.6 percent, affected by a 0.9 percent drop in “First Abu Dhabi Bank” and 0.7 percent in “Etisalat”.
Two informed sources said that the bank is planning to resume talks to buy the Egyptian unit of the Lebanese “Bank Audi”. And Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, is in talks to buy a unit of Blom Bank in Egypt.
In Qatar, the index lost 1.2 percent, as most stocks declined, including the petrochemical company, Industries Qatar.
Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian leading index fell 1% due to the decline in the share of “Talaat Mostafa Group” for real estate development by 2.8%, and the share of “Cleopatra Hospital” 2.6%. The following are the closing levels of the Arab stock market indices yesterday: In Saudi Arabia, the index fell 0.3 percent to 8,025 points. The Abu Dhabi index also fell 0.6 percent to 4,523 points, while the Dubai index fell 1.1 percent to 2,259 points. The Qatari index lost 1.2% to record 9,723 points, while the Kuwaiti index lost 0.8% to 5,816 points.
The Bahraini index fell 0.5 percent to 1,403 points, and the Omani index decreased 1.1 percent to 3,707 points.
In Egypt, the index fell 1 percent to 11,073 points.