An explosion in a container ship in Jebel Ali port shakes Gulf stock exchanges


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DUBAI – Reuters: Most Gulf stock exchanges closed lower on Thursday, following a fire at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, the Middle East’s largest transshipment hub, caused by a container explosion overnight.
Mona Al-Marri, Director of the Media Office of the Government of Dubai, said that the fire broke out in a container containing flammable materials, describing the matter as a “natural accident.”
The main index of the Dubai Stock Exchange fell 0.1 percent, while the share of “Aramex” for logistics services fell 1.3 percent, and the share of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company “du” fell 0.6 percent.
“Despite the limited impact and operating the port within hours, the explosion put pressure on investor sentiment and pushed the Gulf markets lower,” said Kaia Braff, head of investment research at brokerage FX Primus.
In Abu Dhabi, the index gave up early gains to close down 0.1 percent, while the share of “First Abu Dhabi Bank”, the largest bank in the Emirates, fell by one percent. But the index achieved its second weekly gain, despite its decline for three consecutive sessions.
The shares of “International Holding Company” closed stable after a series of gains that spanned eight sessions that began with the listing of its subsidiary, “Alpha Abu Dhabi” last week, in which “International Holdings” owns a 45 percent stake.
The main Saudi index fell 1.2 percent, with “Al-Rajhi Bank” falling by 2.2 percent, and the share of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, which manufactures petrochemicals, “SABIC” by 1.7 percent. But the shares of a few companies for health care and insurance services rose, including the Gulf Union Al Ahlia Cooperative Insurance Company, whose shares jumped about seven percent.
Barf said both sectors are likely to benefit from accidents such as the one in Jebel Ali.
The Qatari stock market index closed down 0.2 percent, negatively affected by the drop in the shares of “Qatar National Bank”, the largest Gulf bank, by 0.4 percent.
Outside the Gulf, the main Egyptian index lost 0.9 percent, as 28 of the 30 stocks fell on the index, while the “Fawry” for banking technology and electronic payments plunged by more than five percent.
The following is a summary of the performance of the region’s stock exchanges yesterday:
In Saudi Arabia, the index lost 1.2 percent to 10,825 points. The Abu Dhabi index also lost 0.1 percent to 6,963 points, and the Dubai index also lost 0.1 percent to 2780 points.
The Qatari index fell 0.2 percent to 10,843 points, and the Kuwaiti index fell 0.2 percent to 6,920 points.
The Bahraini index fell 0.2 percent to 1575 points, while the Omani index rose 0.3 percent to 4,120 points.
In Egypt, the index fell 0.9 percent to 10,185 points.


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