* Egypt lifted by expected progress towards civil rule
* Dubai falls from five-year high
* Air Arabia disappoints on dividends; shares tumble
* Du reports lower quarterly profit, flat year
* Emaar Q4 profit beats estimates but fails to lift index
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, Feb 18 Egypt's bourse surged to a
five-year high after a local newspaper reported that discussions
over a new presidential election law would begin on Wednesday,
while Dubai's shares fell in profit-taking after mixed earnings
Cairo's Al-Ahram said an administrative court, under the
mandate of the 2014 constitution, would start discussions on the
draft law. It may also give details of potential presidential
candidates and the timeframe of the elections.
"People are excited about the elections, they are building
positions in anticipation of presidential election law," said
Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos
Securities in Cairo.
Construction- and property-related shares led the trading.
Palm Hills Development Co rose 3.9 percent and
Egyptian Resorts jumped 4.7 percent.
Cairo's benchmark index rose 1.9 percent to 7,721
points, its highest level since September 2008. It broke above
the April 2010 intraday peak of 7,693 points but will need a
weekly close above the level to confirm a breakout from the
The market was little affected by Sunday's bombing of a
tourist bus in Sinai and this resilience is also supporting
investor confidence, Radwan added.
In Dubai, shares in Air Arabia tumbled 4.8 percent
to a two-week low after the budget carrier posted a profit of 94
million dirhams, which came in slightly below estimates. It also
proposed a 7.25 percent cash dividend that's only marginally
above the previous year's 7 percent dividend.
"Investors were expecting higher dividends on Air Arabia and
this is a market that looks for dividends," said Ali Adou,
portfolio manager at The National Investor.
Telecommunications operator Du dropped 5.6 percent,
despite posting estimate-beating earnings.
Du's fourth-quarter profit fell to 570 million dirhams from
994 million dirhams a year earlier when the company wrote back
some tax provisions.
Builder Arabtec Holding fell 2.4 percent after
brokerage EFG Hermes cut the stock's rating to 'sell' citing
concerns about the firm's ability to increase execution
significantly after building up a large project backlog.
Emaar Properties escaped the selling pressure and
rose 3.4 percent to its highest level since September 2008 after
it posted a 48 percent surge in quarterly profit, handily
Dubai's index lost 1.1 percent, slipping off
Monday's five-year high.
"The overall market has had a nice run but fundamentally,
it's becoming overstretched. Fresh money won't come in if
valuations are high," Adou said.
Analysts and investors have been calling for a correction on
Dubai's market with heavy retail activity spurring small-cap
stocks in speculative buying.
Elsewhere, Qatar's measure slipped 0.3 percent, also
slipping off Monday's five-year high.
Saudi Arabia's index climbed 0.2 percent. Banking
shares supported gains with the sector's index up 0.3
* The index rose 1.9 percent to 7,721 points.
* The index fell 1.1 percent to 4,177 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 11,690 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 8,957 points.
* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,870 points.
* The index gained 0.1 percent to 7,160 points.
* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 7,808 points.
* The index rose 1.1 percent to 1,347 points.
(Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)