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Thursday, Jan 20, 2022

Saudi shares make positive start to 2022 despite COVID cases

Saudi shares make positive start to 2022 despite COVID cases

Saudi Arabian shares began 2022 on a positive note, in spite of a jump in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The largest Gulf state, with a population of around 30 million people, registered 1,024 new coronavirus infections and one death on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.5%, with Al-Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and Alinma Bank (1150.SE) gaining 1% and 3.5% respectively.

In Qatar, the benchmark (.QSI) ended flat, as gains in financial shares helped cap losses in industrial stocks. Sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan (MARK.QA) jumped 4.3%, while Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) was down 1.4%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) fell 0.2%, as the country's lone cigarette maker fell 0.8%.

Cleopatra Hospital Group (CLHO.CA), however, gained 2.6% after MCI Capital Healthcare Partners acquired a 22.99% stake at 5.0 Egyptian pounds ($0.3193) per share, valuing the group at an equity value of 8.0 billion Egyptian pound.

The index booked a yearly gain of 10.2%.

The UAE market was closed as it shifted to a working week of four and half days with a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of 2022, while other markets were closed for new year holidays.

($1 = 15.6600 Egyptian pounds)

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