* Softer rhetoric from Russia calms down markets
* But volatility likely to persist
* Saudi Arabia's SABIC up on new plant project
* Aldar helps lift Abu Dhabi after raising merger synergy
* Egypt rallies as Sisi indicates will run for president
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, March 4 Most regional markets bounced
back on Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered
troops back to base and said he saw no need to use force in
Crimea for now, and retail investors jumped at hopes of conflict
easing in Ukraine.
Putin said, however, that Russia reserved the right to use
force in the Crimea region as a "last resort".
The comments calmed jittery investor nerves in the Gulf,
sending Saudi Arabia's measure up 1.4 percent in its
biggest one-day gain in more than four months. The market
recouped losses from the previous day and rose to a new
Trading volumes on the Saudi exchange surged to a near
six-month high, taking traded value to almost 9 billion riyals
Brent crude surged almost $3 to rise above $111 per
barrel on Monday but has fallen back to $109.82 per barrel at
"Higher oil prices helped Saudi Arabia yesterday and also
its performance this year has been steady and not as stretched
as some other regional markets," said Sebastien Henin, head of
asset management at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.
"There is still uncertainty if it's just a tactical move by
Putin - markets could remain volatile in coming days," Henin
The petrochemical sector measure added 1.3 percent
with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) up 1.1
percent after the government said it would build, together with
SABIC, a plant able to turn crude directly into chemicals,
without first having to refine the oil.
Shares in developer Jabal Omar jumped 7.1 percent,
taking its 2014 gains to 49.3 percent, far outpacing benchmark
gains of 7.2 percent. Dar Al Arkan climbed 3.4
Dubai's bourse was volatile but closed up 0.4
percent, while Abu Dhabi recovered 1.3 percent.
Aldar Properties climbed 1.0 percent after it
raised the estimate of the value of synergies from its merger
with previous rival Sorouh by 45 percent to 145-150 million
dirhams ($39.5-40.9 million) annually.
In Qatar, the measure shed 0.7 percent, its fifth
straight loss to hit its lowest since Feb. 16.
Shares in Masraf Al Rayan slid 4.2 percent and
Doha Bank tumbled 9.1 percent. Both shares have passed
the date when shareholders would qualify for dividends.
Mesaieed Petrochemical dropped its daily limit of
10 percent for a third consecutive session since listing. The
stock surged far above estimated fair value on its debut in
heavy retail buying last Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Cairo's measure rose 1.0 percent after
army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sent the clearest
signal yet that he will run for president. Sisi, widely expected
to win the presidency of the Arab world's most populous country,
said he could not ignore the demands of the "majority".
* The index advanced 1.4 percent to 9,149 points.
* The index rose 1.0 percent to 7,934 points.
* The index climbed 0.4 percent to 4,121 points.
* The index rose 1.3 percent to 4,920 points.
* The index slipped 0.7 percent to 11,588 points.
* The index gained 0.5 percent to 7,532 points.
* The index ended flat at 7,098 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 1,368 points.