* Aldar surges as firm mulls floating subsidiary
* Egypt down 15 pct from March 26's five-year peak
* Some blue chips plunge nearly 10 pct on Sunday
* Dubai drops for first session in six
* Saudi Arabia earnings have little impact
By Matt Smith
DUBAI, April 6 Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties
hit a four-year high on Sunday after it unveiled
tentative plans to float a subsidiary, lifting the emirate's
bourse, while Egypt's market slumped to an eight-week low.
Other Middle East markets were muted as Saudi Arabia
investors showed little reaction to a slew of first-quarter
earnings, and Dubai eased from Thursday's five-year peak.
In Abu Dhabi, Aldar surged 5.1 percent to its highest close
since May 2010. The state-run developer said it might float
property management unit Khidmah through an initial public offer
sometime in coming years.
RAK Properties, a favourite target for retail
investors' speculation, climbed 14.5 percent, while Abu Dhabi's
main index rose 0.9 percent to a five-week high.
Neighbouring Dubai eased 0.6 percent, its first decline in
six sessions. Emaar Properties and Dubai Financial
Market were the main drags, sliding 1.7 and 2.0 percent
In Saudi Arabia, Almarai fell 0.8 percent after
the dairy firm posted a 7.3 percent increase in first-quarter
profit that was marginally below analysts' estimates.
Saudi Hollandi Bank's 20 percent rise in first-
quarter profit helped the lender's shares end only 0.8 percent
The bank "will maintain double-digit growth in net profit in
2014 and 2015 and will outperform peers", NBK Capital wrote in a
note, adding however that the stock's sustained surge - it has
gained 79 percent since the start of 2013 - meant it had limited
Riyad Bank rose 0.3 percent after the kingdom's
third-largest lender by assets said it made a first-quarter
profit of 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million), up 13.5 percent
from a year earlier.
Egypt's main index dropped 2.3 percent to its
lowest close since Feb. 11. The benchmark has fallen 14.7
percent from March 26's five-year closing high.
The sell-off came after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he would
run for president; investors, most of whom favour Sisis, had bid
up the market ahead of the announcement and took profits
afterwards. The market is still up 10.9 percent year-to-date.
"Investors are bearish in the short term," said Mohamed
Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Securities in Cairo. "The
most hammered stocks are the retail favourites, while the blue
chips are suffering as well."
Telecom Egypt fell 9.4 percent, Citadel Capital
slid 9.2 percent and property developer Talaat
Moustafa dropped 8.5 percent.
"Local institutions are selling on fears of further declines
in the market," added Radwan. "The (Sisi) announcement was the
trigger for people to think the market was over-bought."
A gradual weakening of the Egyptian pound to
multi-month lows against the U.S. dollar in recent days has also
hurt market sentiment, reviving talk that Egypt may eventually
have to depreciate its currency further to stimulate growth.
* The index fell 2.3 percent to 7,524 points.
* The index dropped 0.6 percent to 4,590 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 4,966 points.
* The index climbed 1.0 percent to 12,098 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 9,531 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 7,583 points.
* The index rose 0.5 percent to 1,374 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)