MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt upbeat on economic support, Gulf mkts mixed

Mon May 30, 2011 11:29am EDT

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* Egypt up on IMF financial support optimism

* UAE investors weary of trading on possible MSCI upgrade

By Edmund Blair and Matt Smith

CAIRO/DUBAI, May 30 (Reuters) - Egypt's bourse climbed to a four-month high on Monday on optimism over foreign financial support, while UAE investors took cash off the table, weary of trading on a possible index upgrade.

Egypt's benchmark index .EGX30 rose 0.8 percent to its highest close since Jan. 27 when a popular uprising that unseated President Hosni Mubarak was gathering pace.

Interim Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Egypt had agreed with the International Monetary Fund on a $3 billion loan.

"Definitely the positive sentiment comes from the huge aid package," said Osama Mourad, chief executive of Arab Finance Brokerage.

Earlier, the World Bank, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States and other donors have pledged billions of dollars in various forms of aid to Egypt.

Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA) jumped 10 percent, taking the stock back to mid-April levels. Orascom Construction (OCIC.CA) climbed 2.2 percent.

Dubai's index .DFMGI ended lower for a first session in three with Emaar Properties EMAR.DU and Dubai Financial Market DFM.DU (DFM) each down 1.6 percent. Telecoms operator du DU.DU slipped 0.9 percent.

The index fell 0.6 percent, edging closer to Wednesday's two-month low, as investors await a decision by influential index compiler MSCI on a possible upgrade of the benchmark to emerging market status.

"Locals are taking some cash off the table as they wait to see what happens with MSCI," said Matthew Wakeman, EFG-Hermes managing director for cash and equity-linked trading.

"Retail investors are getting impatient. They started playing the MSCI announcement a little bit early, expecting international investors would follow, but that hasn't happened."

This is spurring some local traders to sell up and reinvest in other markets such as Egypt.

Aldar Properties ALDR.AD, accounting for more than a sixth of shares traded, rose 2.2 percent, while rival Sorouh Real Estate SOR.AD added 2.3 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, most large cap stocks fell, halting a four-day rally as banks and petrochemicals weighed.

The banking index .TBFSI slipped 0.8 percent and the petchem sector index .TPISI fell 0.4 percent. The two sectors account for the largest share of the market.

Alinma Bank 1150.SE, the second most active stock, fell 0.5 percent. Banque Saudi Fransi 1050.SE dropped 2.3 percent.

"If banks do not perform we cannot break the current range," said a Riyadh-based fund manager who asked not to be identified.

"Also, there is a lack of liquidity," he said.

Banks are expected to rally after an expected drop in provisioning in coming quarters, with the year-end a likely time for bank stocks to rebound, he added.

The main benchmark .TASI ended 0.3 percent lower.

In Kuwait, Zain (ZAIN.KW) climbed 4 percent, rebounding from Sunday's 16-month low.

"It's mainly technical -- Zain has been sold off along with the rest of the market, so people have started bottom fishing and Zain is one of the first names they go for," said Wakeman.

MONDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

EGYPT

* The measure .EGX30 gained 0.8 percent to 5,590 points.

DUBAI

* The index .DFMGI eased 0.6 percent to 1,536 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index .ADI rose 0.5 percent to 2,621 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The benchmark .TASI slipped 0.3 percent to 6,733 points.

KUWAIT

* The measure .KWSE climbed 0.3 percent to 6,375 points.

QATAR

* The benchmark .QSI lost 0.2 percent to 8,355 points.

OMAN

* The index .MSI added 0.2 percent to 5,963 points.

BAHRAIN

* The measure .BAX eased 0.3 percent to 1,347 points

(Additional reporting by Nadia Saleem; editing by Firouz Sedarat)

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