* Dubai's Emaar rises further ahead of malls unit's IPO
* Abu Dhabi's Aldar gains after selling residential tower
* Saudi banks pull back as regulator caps consumer lending
* Petchems also retreat, plant shuts for maintenance
* Egypt's El-Sewedy Electric up after Q2 earnings
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, Sept 1 Property firms, led by Dubai's
Emaar Properties which has said it will float its
malls unit in September, helped lift stock markets in the United
Arab Emirates on Monday, while the advance of Saudi Arabia's
Dubai's main index rose 1.5 percent as Emaar, the
emirate's biggest listed developer, jumped 4.5 percent to 11.65
dirhams, a fresh six-year high; trading volume in the stock was
the highest since April 2010. However, Emaar closed well off its
intra-day peak of 12.00 dirhams.
The stock had already soared 8.8 percent on Sunday after the
announcement of the initial public offer, which will be one of
the largest equity sales in the Middle East since 2008,
underlining Dubai's recovery from a credit crisis that forced
many state-linked developers to stall projects.
The firm had initially revealed in March its intention to
sell up to 25 percent of the unit in an offer likely to raise 8
to 9 billion dirhams ($2.18-$2.45 billion). It will use proceeds
from the sale to pay a special dividend to its shareholders.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark rose 0.9 percent as that
emirate's largest listed developer, Aldar Properties,
added 1.8 percent after announcing a sale of a residential tower
for an undisclosed value. Another Abu Dhabi-listed developer,
Ras Al Khaimah Properties, climbed 0.9 percent.
"Aldar is now entering a period of transformation that
should underpin a rerating of the shares," BofA Merrill Lynch
Global Research said in a report.
It cited a strong delivery pipeline of prime leasing assets,
a revival of off-plan property sales in Abu Dhabi, and the
rising value of Aldar's land bank on the back of higher
Meanwhile, Qatar's bourse continued to recover from a 3.1
percent drop at the end of last week that was caused by one-off
selling by foreign funds. The Doha index rose 0.8 percent
on the back of banking stocks.
Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan added 2.9 percent,
Qatar National Bank rose 1.8 percent and Qatar Islamic
Bank climbed 2.3 percent.
Saudi Arabia's main index, which has been in an
uptrend since the kingdom's regulator said in July it would open
the market to direct foreign investment early next year, added
just 0.04 percent.
Both banks and petrochemicals, the two major sectors which
had led growth in the last few weeks, pulled back. The financial
sector index slipped 0.1 percent and the petrochemicals
benchmark edged down 0.4 percent.
One of the factors putting pressure on banking stocks was
new consumer lending regulations published by the central bank.
They cap fees that banks can charge borrowers and allow the
regulator to limit the proportion of retail loans on any
individual bank's loan book.
Brokerage EFG Hermes said the regulations would have an
"overall negative" impact on banks' profits and stock prices.
"The imposition of caps on fees should substantially dent
the retail loan income for banks, in our view, with the impact
likely to be felt more by banks that have significant revenue
contribution from retail banking business," it said in a note.
In the petrochemical sector, Sahara Petrochemical Co
fell 0.7 percent after saying on Sunday that its
affiliate, Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Co (SEPC), would shut
a ethylene and propylene plant for planned maintenance.
The impact on Sahara would be worth 3.8 million riyals ($1
million) in lost profit, Sahara said in a bourse filing. Another
SEPC shareholder, National Industrialization Co (Tasnee)
, slipped 0.5 percent.
Shares in Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden), on
the other hand, rose 0.9 percent after the company said on
Monday its joint aluminium smelter with U.S.-based Alcoa
has started commercial operations.
Egypt's bourse edged up 0.06 percent. Shares in
El-Sewedy Electric, the largest listed cable maker in
the Arab world, rose 1.4 percent to 38.00 pounds after the firm
posted a 13 percent increase in second-quarter net profit.
"(The) results marginally beat our estimate both at the top
and bottom lines," brokerage Naeem said in a note on El-Sewedy.
It added, however, that overall, the quarterly results were
neutral and it maintained a target price of 28.60 pounds.
* The index added 1.5 percent to 5,141 points.
* The index climbed 0.9 percent to 5,129 points.
* The index rose 0.8 percent to 13,700 points.
* The index edged up 0.04 percent to 11,117 points.
* The index edged up 0.06 percent to 9,452 points.
* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,422 points.
* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 7,356 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 1,474 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)