MIDEAST STOCKS-CIB's strong earnings lift Egypt; Aldar drags down Abu Dhabi

Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:19am EST

Related Topics

* Egypt's biggest listed bank climbs 1.9 pct

* Aldar's dividend disappoints investors

* Property developers, builders in Dubai also fall

* Other Gulf markets rise

* Saudi's Al Tayyar Travel Group gains on UK acquisition

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Egypt's bourse rose on Wednesday as the country's biggest listed bank posted strong fourth-quarter earnings, while markets in the United Arab Emirates weakened after a disappointing earnings report from Abu Dhabi property developer Aldar.

Egypt's index added 1.0 percent to 7,571 points after Commercial International Bank (CIB) posted a 29 percent rise in quarterly net profit to 757 million Egyptian pounds ($109 million). The bank's stock rose 1.9 percent.

The index is "heading towards 7,600 points after CIB reported strong Q4 earnings numbers," said Islam Batrawy, Cairo-based head of MENA equity sales at NBK Capital. "CIB was the major contributor to the upward move."

In the UAE, however, both bourses closed lower after Aldar Properties disappointed some investors despite reporting higher net profit. Its stock fell 4.2 percent while Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.1 percent.

"I think disappointment could be with the dividend," said Sanyalak Manibhandu, senior analyst at NBAD Securities.

"Ahead of the announcement this morning I think a lot of investors were expecting Aldar to pay at least 10 fils (per share worth one dirham). They paid 7." Last year, Aldar paid a cash dividend of 6 percent.

Brokerage Arqaam Capital also pointed to delays in handing over some projects which led to lower-than-expected revenues. It described Aldar's recurring income as "uninspiring" in a note on Wednesday.

That may have prompted some retail investors to book profits and sell UAE small-cap stocks along with those in the property and related sectors.

Dubai-based builder Arabtec shed 3.3 percent while shares in Emaar Properties edged down 0.4 percent. Dubai's index fell 0.4 percent, ending a seven-session upward streak.

Bourses in Qatar and Oman - often used by regional investors to "park" money after booking profits in the UAE - gained 0.8 percent and 0.2 percent.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.6 percent, largely lifted by telecommunications firm Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) , which gained 2.5 percent in thin trading.

Mobily made no major announcements on Wednesday. Last month, it said it would start leasing its mobile phone network to a new operator to launch a rival service in the first quarter of this year. It also beat analysts' forecast with a 8.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit.

Al Tayyar Travel Group rose 1.8 percent after its subsidiary acquired luxury British tour operator Elegant Resort Company for 10.3 million pounds ($16.98 million).

WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

EGYPT

* The index rose 1.0 percent to 7,571 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.4 percent to 4,047 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,868 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.8 percent to 11,453 points.

OMAN

* The index gained 0.2 percent to 7,160 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index added 0.6 percent to 8,913 points.

KUWAIT

* The index gained 0.1 percent to 7,861 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,315 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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