MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait, other bourses sink as coronavirus worries intensify

    * Kuwait sees biggest ever intraday fall
    * Dubai hits lowest since December 2018
    * Egypt sees biggest fall in over 7 years
    * In Saudi 190 stocks were in red of 199

    By Ateeq Shariff
    March 1 (Reuters) - Middle Eastern stocks plunged on Sunday,
with Kuwait falling the most, as the spread of coronavirus
stoked fears that outbreak could hurt the global economy and oil
    Leaders in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas rolled
out bans on big gatherings and stricter travel restrictions as
cases of the virus spread around the world.
    In Kuwait, the index, which traded after a three
session break, slumped 11%, its biggest ever intraday fall,
dragged down by a 14.5% fall in National Bank of Kuwait
    Kuwait, which reported 46 people infected with the
coronavirus, called on its citizens to avoid travelling over
concerns about the spread of the disease.
    Egypt tumbled 6%, its biggest intraday fall since
November 2012. Commercial International Bank slid 6%,
whereas Eastern Company was down 5.9%.
    Egyptian exchange data showed that foreign investors were
net sellers.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 3.7%, its
biggest intraday fall since January 2016, bringing this year's
losses to 12.5%. 
    Al Rajhi Bank fell 3.9%, while Saudi Public
Transport plunged 10%, to become top loser on the
    Saudi Arabia on Thursday suspended the entry of foreigners
for the Umrah pilgrimage and tourism from countries where the
coronavirus has spread.
    Oil giant Saudi Aramco closed down 2.1% to 32.65
riyals ($8.70).
    Dubai's index fell 4.5%, touching its lowest since
December 2018, with Emirates NBD Bank declining 6.8%
and Emaar Properties decreasing 5.1%.
    The Abu Dhabi index lost 3.6%, its biggest intraday
fall since January 2016. First Abu Dhabi Bank dropped
3.9%, while telco Etisalat ended down 3.2%.
    The central bank of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday
advised banks to reschedule loans and reduce fees and
commissions as part of measures to mitigate the economic effects
of the coronavirus outbreak.
    The UAE is a regional business hub and major transit point
for passengers travelling to China and other destinations in
Asia. The country has reported 21 people infected with the
coronavirus, five of whom have recovered.
    Qatar, which reported its first coronavirus case, was close
for a public holiday.
 SAUDI ARABIA          fell 3.7% to 7,345 points
 ABU DHABI            lost 3.6% to 4,724 points
 DUBAI                  sank 4.4% to 2,474 points
 EGYPT                  down 6% to 12,223 points
 BAHRAIN              declined 3.4% to 1,605 points
 OMAN                 slipped 1.2% to 4,081 points
 KUWAIT               plunged 11% at 5,991 points

($1 = 3.7516 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark

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