MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings, technicals lift Egypt; MSCI trio pull back

Wed May 14, 2014 10:41am EDT

Related Topics

* Talaat Moustafa, Ezz Steel earnings boost Egypt's bourse

* Cairo index breaks through resistance at 8,400 points

* Could rise further as presidential election approaches

* Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar slip

* Investors take profits on Qatar Insurance Company stock

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, May 14 (Reuters) - Strong company earnings helped lift Egypt's stock market on Wednesday, while bourses in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar slipped ahead of an announcement from index compiler MSCI detailing their upgrade to emerging market status.

Egypt's benchmark climbed 1.9 percent to 8,467 points, its highest close since late March.

Talaat Moustafa jumped 5.5 percent after the property developer posted a 15-percent rise in first-quarter after-tax profit.

Ezz Steel gained 5.8 percent after the firm said its 2013 profit was 134 million Egyptian pounds ($19 million), up from 8 million pounds in 2012.

The positive sentiment also lifted other stocks and the index broke through resistance at 8,400 points, the level at which earlier rallies in April and earlier this month faltered.

"The technical element played a major role today," said Chamel Fahmy, vice-president for sales and trading at Egypt's HC Securities and Investment.

"I think the current upturn in stocks might continue. People have the conviction that as we are approaching the presidential elections, this will give a boost to the stock market. The market might still have 200-300 points' upside."

Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to easily win the May 26-27 presidential election and Egyptian investors hope he will bring stability and help revive the economy.

UAE, QATAR

Bourses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha edged down slightly on the eve of an announcement from index compiler MSCI detailing which stocks from the UAE and Qatar will become part of its emerging markets index and with what weights.

Dubai's index slipped 0.2 percent to 5,319 points as most stocks declined, although Emaar Properties jumped 5.8 percent after it signed an agreement with Dubai Municipality to work on a new mixed-use beachfront development.

Abu Dhabi's bourse fell 0.4 percent to 5,016 points. Etisalat dropped 0.9 percent after the telecom operator completed its purchase of a 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom for 4.14 billion euros ($5.67 billion).

Qatar's benchmark slipped 0.1 percent to 13,161 points, retreating from Tuesday's all-time high.

Qatar Insurance Company was the main drag, dropping 3.3 percent. It had surged 10 percent a day earlier after it won a contract to insure Doha's new airport.

WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 5,319 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,016 points.

QATAR

* The index slid 0.1 percent to 13,161 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged up 0.04 percent to 9,820 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 1.9 percent to 8,467 points.

KUWAIT

* The index fell 0.1 percent to 7,395 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was flat at 1,468 points.

OMAN

* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,755 points. (Editing by Matt Smith)

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