* Qatari conglomerate lifts bourse with generous dividend
* Saudi petrochemicals retreat in profit-taking
* Dubai firms rise on Q4 eranings bets
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, Feb 17 Blue chip Industries Qatar
surged to a nine-year high on Monday as a surprise
hike in dividends attracted buyers even though the firm's
fourth-quarter profit trailed estimates.
Industries Qatar boosted Doha's measure while other regional
markets were mixed.
Shares in the metals and petrochemicals conglomerate jumped
7.4 percent to 193.10 riyals, their highest since April 2005.
The firm's board proposed a dividend of 11 riyals per share
or 110 percent of its nominal value, up from 8.5 riyals in 2012.
Qatar's bourse is up 1.5 percent.
The dividend hike comes despite a 5 percent drop in annual
profit due to weak fertiliser prices.
"We see the company as well positioned to maintain a payout
ratio greater than 80% in the medium-to-long-term driven by
lower leverage and limited announced capex," Ankit Gupta,
assistant vice president of research at NBK Capital, said in a
NBK Capital's fair value for the stock is 162.5 riyals and
Gupta expects some increase in the fair value on 2013 dividends
beat, and improved dividend outlook in the medium term.
Qatar's benchmark rose 1.5 percent, its biggest
one-day gain in six weeks, to hit a 67-month high.
Dividends in the Gulf region have helped boost share prices
more than positive earnings and in IQ's case, even offset weak
Strong dividend and bonus share payouts by Saudi banks have
also spurred investor confidence in recent weeks but the index
slipped 0.3 percent in profit-taking on Monday.
Petrochemical sector was the main culprit. Saudi Basic
Industries Corp (SABIC) shed 0.9 percent and the
sector's index lost 0.8 percent.
Banking shares index was little changed after
gaining 5.7 percent so far in 2014.
In the United Arab Emirates, bourses were mixed with Dubai
extending gains as the index climbed 0.8 percent to a
new five-year high, boosted by a renewed real estate and tourism
boom in the emirate.
Shares in Emaar Properties advanced 1.2 percent
ahead of the firm posting estimate-beating fourth-quarter
profit, which surged 48 percent.
Emaar made a profit of 756 million dirhams ($206 million),
well above the average estimate of 622 million dirhams.
Shares in telecommunications firm du and budget
carrier Air Arabia also gained as investors made their
bets before the announcement of fourth-quarter results.
Abu Dhabi's measure slipped 0.2 percent after
touching a multi-year intraday high of 4,920 points.
* The index rose 1.5 percent to 11,724 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 8,940 points.
* The index climbed 0.8 percent to 4,224 points.
* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,880 points.
* The index ended flat at 7,577 points.
* The index retreated 0.4 percent to 7,151 points.
* The index slipped 0.5 percent to 7,794 points.
* The index rose 0.7 percent to 1,333 points.
(Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)