DUBAI, April 21 (Reuters) – Saudi British Bank (SABB) rose on Sunday after the lender said it agreed to sell 2 percent of HSBC Saudi Arabia, its investment bank, while Gulf stocks were higher as companies begin to report first-quarter earnings.

SABB was up 0.4 percent. The lender said the value of the sale was 36 million riyals ($9.60 million). Following the completion of the transaction, SABB will own 49 percent, while HSBC Asia Holdings will own 51 percent in HSBC Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s main index, the Tadawul All-Share benchmark , was up 0.04 percent.

Investors will be eyeing the flow of corporate earnings this week as first quarter results get under way.

Islamic lender Alinma was up 0.94 percent after recording a sharp increase in its first quarter net profit of 709 million riyals ($189.07 million), compared with 582 million riyals a year ago.

Telecommunications firm Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) was up 2.24 percent after it posted a net profit of 67.3 million riyals in Q1, versus a loss of 93.4 riyals a year ago.

Abu Dhabi’s stock market rose 0.58 percent lifted by financials and real estate.

Abu Dhabi’s largest developer Aldar Properties gained 1.07 percent, and real estate company Rak Properties was up 1.45 percent.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) continued its gains, as it was up 1 percent. The bank has risen nearly 9 percent last week after obtaining regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent.

Dubai’s index was up 0.24 on real estate as Deyaar Development rose 3.71 percent, Emaar Development rose 1.6 percent, Emaar Properties rose 1.01 percent and Damac Properties rose 0.77 percent.

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Qatar’s stock market was up 0.16 percent on financials. Medicare Group rose 1.59 percent, and Qatar Insurance Co rose 1 percent. ($1 = 3.7499 riyals) (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Alison Williams)



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