MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai jumps on Emaar breakout; oil weighs on Saudi stocks

Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:56am EDT

Related Topics

* Emaar confirms break of major chart resistance

* Arabtec rises before publishing estimate-beating results

* Qatar boosted by CBQ, Gulf International Services

* Saudi Arabia the only Gulf market in the red

* Petrochemicals drop after oil price slides

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, March 18 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emaar Properties broke major chart resistance to lift the emirate's stock market index on Tuesday for a third straight session, while most Gulf markets rose as global jitters over the Ukraine crisis partially eased.

Emaar jumped 5.4 percent to 9.75 dirhams in its heaviest trading volume since April 2012, confirming a break above 9.16-9.20 dirhams, the February and March highs.

Shares in Emaar have been gaining since the company at the weekend announced a higher 2013 dividend and a plan to list its shopping mall unit. They were boosted further on Tuesday when Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar was quoted as saying in a magazine interview that the unit would list in both Dubai and London, and aimed to do so before end-June.

The stock faces another barrier at 9.75 dirhams and then at 10.50, according to NBAD Securities. "Any break over 10.60 dirhams shall ignite further buying towards 12/15 dirhams in the long term," the brokerage said in a note.

Many analysts have fair-value estimates for Emaar above 10.00 dirhams. MubasherTrade Research said on Tuesday it had added the stock back to its list of regional favourites, and that the retail unit's listing would effectively lift the firm's net asset value by around 30 percent to 12 dirhams per share.

Dubai's index gained 2.7 percent to 4,234 points. It faces technical resistance at 4,242-4,255 points, the March and February peaks.

Other property-related stocks in Dubai also gained, including construction firm Arabtec which rose 2.5 percent as investors bet on strong financial results and a generous profit distribution before its Tuesday board meeting.

The firm said later on Tuesday that its fourth-quarter income had more than tripled to 122 million dirhams ($33.2 million), and proposed a 10 percent cash dividend for 2013 along with a 30 percent bonus share issue. It paid no dividend for 2012. Analysts had on average expected a fourth-quarter profit of 79.50 million dirhams.

ABU DHABI, QATAR

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.5 percent largely on the back of the banking sector. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank , which said last week that it would continue a share buy-back, climbed 1.5 percent.

In Qatar, Commercial Bank of Qatar jumped 16.4 percent after announcing a 20 percent cash dividend and a bonus share issue late on Monday.

Qatar's index added 0.2 percent, aided also by Gulf International Services, which rose sharply for a second straight day. The stock gained 7.1 percent, although the company has not recently made major announcements of fresh news, and traders said the motive for the buying was not clear.

Kuwait's Noor Financial Investment Co, which dropped 4.8 percent on Monday after Pakistan's central bank blocked the sale of its stake in Karachi-based Meezan Bank , shed another 1.7 percent. But the overall Kuwaiti index gained 0.7 percent.

Saudi Arabia's bourse was the lone loser in the Gulf, down 0.4 percent on above-average volume.

"I think it could be related to oil prices," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.

Brent crude lost more than $2 a barrel on Monday as investors bet the Ukraine crisis, which has so far prompted only minor Western sanctions against Russia, would not interrupt Russian oil supplies. Saudi Arabia's petrochemical sector index lost 0.6 percent.

TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The index gained 2.7 percent to 4,234 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 4,848 points.

QATAR

* The index added 0.2 percent to 11,419 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index slipped 0.4 percent to 9,332 points.

KUWAIT

* The index rose 0.7 percent to 7,458 points.

EGYPT

* The index added 0.4 percent to 8,197 points.

OMAN

* The index gained 0.3 percent to 7,018 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,374 points. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams) (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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