* Dubai's Shuaa up 4 pct after swings to 2013 profit
* Qatar above 11,000 points for first time in 5 years
* Riyad Bank continues surge on Q4 earnings
* But Q4 miss knocks back Banque Saudi Fransi
* Oman's Galfar down in heavy trade on corruption verdict
By Nadia Saleem and Raya Atallah
DUBAI, Jan 13 United Arab Emirates stock markets
surged on Monday because of optimism towards fourth-quarter
earnings, while Qatar booked its longest winning streak in over
three years as it rose above 11,000 points for the first time
Property shares led gains in Dubai, pushing the main index
up 1.3 percent to a new five-year high. Union
Properties surged 9.6 percent.
Shares in Shuaa Capital climbed 4.0 percent after
the investment bank swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of
2013 and for the full year. It made a full-year net profit of
2.8 million dirhams ($769,000), compared to a loss of 59 million
dirhams in 2012.
"People are actively looking at Q4 numbers and dividends;
Shuaa came out with a profit for the first time in years and
that's being seen as a positive," said Sanyalaksna Manibhandu,
senior analyst at NBAD Securities.
"You might be seeing a little bit of over-enthusiasm."
Manibhandu said some UAE banks might book provisions in
their fourth-quarter results to allow for the possible cost of
meeting new regulations. The UAE's central bank issued rules in
late 2013 on banks' exposure to government-related entities and
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.9 percent, also hitting a
In Qatar, the index gained 0.9 percent to 11,020
points, breaking the 11,000-point level for the first time in
five years. The market rose for a tenth consecutive trading day,
its longest winning streak since November 2010.
Qatar is the best-performing regional market so far this
year with a gain of 5.2 percent. Foreign institutional investors
have been net buyers, according to bourse data.
Investors are positioning for earnings growth and dividends,
which are among the highest in the region, and also ahead of
MSCI's upgrade of Qatar to emerging market status, which will be
implemented in May. Qatar is expected to see an inflow of about
$500 million from funds benchmarked against MSCI's emerging
In Saudi Arabia, losses in the petrochemical sector
overshadowed gains in some banks. Riyad Bank surged
4.7 percent to its highest since September 2008, continuing a
rise that began on Wednesday when it posted a 27.2 percent jump
in fourth-quarter net profit, beating forecasts.
"People are looking at Riyad as a long-term play, given the
results and solid dividends," said John Sfakianakis, chief
investment strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC.
"The market is differentiating between the banks in reaction
to the results. The private sector credit growth is slowing
down, which is going to have a bit of an impact in 2014."
Saudi British Bank edged down 0.5 percent after
posting an estimate-beating net profit rise of 20 percent.
Banque Saudi Fransi fell 2.3 percent to a
three-week low of 33.70 riyals after it posted a surprise 66
percent slump in fourth-quarter profit, citing higher operating
expenses and missing analysts' forecasts by a big margin.
"Banque Saudi Fransi surprised negatively today, which we
think is the result of a much higher provisioning at first
look," said Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital.
He added that the impairments were probably due to the
bank's exposure to the construction sector, which is seeing a
slowdown in projects because of a labour shortage.
"The construction sector is going through some difficult
times and if banks have been lending to them, they will see an
impact. It takes one or two banks to recognise provisions
exposure, and others will follow."
However, Banque Saudi Fransi shares ended well off their
intra-day low of 32.50 riyals, and NCB Capital said it remained
positive on the stock as it believed provisions would not be
repeated at such high levels.
The Saudi petrochemical shares index slipped 0.4
percent, underperforming the main index, which was flat.
Elsewhere, shares in major Omani construction firm Galfar
Engineering fell 3.2 percent, but recovered most of
the day's losses, after two executives of the company were
convicted in a corruption case. The stock saw its highest daily
trading volume since December 2007.
* The index rose 1.3 percent to 3,550 points.
* The index climbed 0.9 percent to 4,458 points.
* The index eased 0.03 percent to 8,712 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 11,020 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 7,137 points.
* The index retreated 0.2 percent to 7,629 points.