MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf investors book profits on some MSCI picks

Thu May 15, 2014 10:18am EDT

Related Topics

* Dubai, Qatar large-caps pull back

* MSCI upgrade announcement meets market expectations

* Dana Gas falls after Q1 profit drop

* But banks lift Abu Dhabi

* Earnings support Egypt

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, May 15 (Reuters) - Dubai and Qatar's bourses fell on Thursday as investors booked profits in many stocks including those that MSCI picked to be part of its emerging market index.

Dubai's benchmark dropped 2.6 percent, largely due to Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank which fell 4.1 and 4 percent respectively.

Index compiler MSCI late Wednesday said both companies would be among those moving to its emerging market benchmark from the frontier market index at the end of May.

Emaar's inclusion had appeared certain to investors, while analysts were confident Dubai Investment Bank would also make the cut after the lender increased its foreign ownership limit last December to 25 percent of its shares from 15 percent.

"It was not a big surprise," Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor, said, referring to the MSCI announcement.

Dubai's index, up 54 percent this year, is likely to remain volatile in the coming weeks he said, as two camps take turns dominating the market.

"You have some investors who are looking to book profits after the strong rally this year and you have foreigners looking to buy because of the MSCI upgrade," Henin said. "We will have these erratic moves in the market."

Abu Dhabi's bourse rose 0.1 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi , both on the MSCI upgrade list, were among the main supports with gains of 1.2 and 0.7 percent respectively.

Dana Gas fell 4.4 percent after it reported a 32 percent drop in first-quarter profit.

QATAR, EGYPT

Qatar's heavyweights stocks fell, dragging Doha's index 0.4 percent lower.

Qatar National Bank slid 2.6 percent, Industries Qatar dropped 1 percent and Ooredoo eased 1.4 percent.

Smaller companies fared better: Vodafone Qatar added 1.2 percent, topping daily traded value, while Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan gained 1.6 percent and Barwa Real Estate rose 1.4 percent.

All six will join MSCI's emerging market index.

Egypt's bourse was Thursday's top performer, rising 1 percent to 8,553 points. It faces resistance at 8,597, the March intra-day peak.

Talaat Moustafa and Ezz Steel, both of which buoyed the market on Wednesday after posting strong quarterly results, remained among the key supports, climbing 2.7 and 5.1 percent respectively.

Shares in Egypt Kuwait Holding Co rose 4.6 percent after it reported a 15-percent jump in first-quarter profit.

THURSDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The index fell 2.6 percent to 5,181 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,021 points.

QATAR

* The index slid 0.4 percent to 13,105 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 9,807 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 1.0 percent to 8,553 points.

KUWAIT

* The index climbed 0.1 percent to 7,404 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,464 points.

OMAN

* The index slid 0.3 percent to 6,735 points. (Editing by Matt Smith)

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