MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar markets extend gains; Egypt rebounds

Tue Apr 1, 2014 9:22am EDT

Related Topics

* Qatar continues rally after record budget approval

* UAE stocks rise following Dubai World reassurances

* Investors make bets on Q1 results

* Egypt rebounds after three sessions of heavy profit-taking

* Small- and large-caps diverge in Kuwait

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - Financial and property stocks lifted bourses in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Tuesday, while Egypt rebounded after three days of heavy profit-taking.

Qatar's benchmark rose 1.8 percent to 11,849 points, extending a rally that begun this week after the government adopted a record $60 billion budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year.

The index, now at a four-week high, faces resistance at 11,900 points, the February peak.

Qatar National Bank and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan were among the top gainers, rising 2.9 and 3.2 percent respectively.

Shares in Gulf International Services jumped 9.9 percent after the firm said it had bought a 30 percent stake in Gulf Drilling International from Japan Drilling Co, giving it full control of the firm.

Dubai's index rose 1.6 percent. Shares in Emaar Properties broke through the psychologically important level of 10 dirhams to end 1.5 percent higher at 10.10 dirhams.

Lender Emirates NBD added 2.7 percent after conglomerate Dubai World, to which it has major exposure, said it was able to make upcoming debt repayments on time and even ahead of schedule.

Dubai Financial Market, which said on Monday its daily trading volume has risen 424 percent this year, was up 2.1 percent.

"What the market is turning its attention to is first quarter numbers, which will be out in about three weeks," said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at NBAD Securities.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 1.2 percent to 4,954 points, approaching the February peak of 5,005 points, also largely on the back of banking and property stocks.

EGYPT, KUWAIT

Egypt's index, which had lost 8 percent of its value in the previous three sessions, rebounded on Tuesday to close 1.5 percent higher.

The dip was a result of profit-taking by investors who had built up positions in anticipation of former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's run for president.

Sisi, who investors hope will stabilise the economy and carry out much-needed reforms, officially made the move last week, prompting market players to book profits.

Egypt's central bank helped the market bounce back, saying on Tuesday it had covered the entire backlog of dollars owed to foreign investors seeking to repatriate funds from the country.

In Kuwait, the main stock index slipped 0.2 percent to 7,558 points, leaving it nearly flat year-to-date. But traders say Kuwait's lacklustre performance compared with other regional markets masks a divergence between small- and large-caps stocks.

"The bulk of the money now is no longer focusing on the smaller companies," said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.

The large-cap Kuwait 15 index, tracked since May 2012, rose 2.2 percent to a new historical high of 1,200 points on Tuesday, taking this year's gains to 12 percent.

Small-cap stocks are retreating after "some huge gains that were made last year," said Fouad Alhadlaq, acting general manager at Al Dar Asset Management in Kuwait.

"The large-caps seem to be closing the gap."

Kuwait Projects Co, the Gulf state's largest listed investment company, added 7.3 percent after saying it would start the process for an initial public offering (IPO) of its pay-television unit OSN within weeks.

Another arm of Kuwait Projects Co, Burgan Bank, rose 3.6 percent after announcing plans to raise more capital this year to comply with the Basel III banking industry regulations.

TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

QATAR

* The index rose 1.8 percent to 11,853 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 1.6 percent to 4,521 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index climbed 1.2 percent to 4,954 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 1.5 percent to 7,920 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 9,516 points.

KUWAIT

* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 7,558 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,360 points. (Editing by Matt Smith)

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