* Qatar tops Sunday's all-time high
* UAE markets continue rebound from last week's sharp dip
* MSCI to upgrade both countries at end of this week
* Saudi Arabia hits fresh six-year high
* Egypt edges down on election day
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, May 26 Stocks about to join the MSCI
emerging market index supported bourses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and
Qatar on Monday while Saudi Arabia posted gains across various
sectors as it hit a new six-year high.
Abu Dhabi's bourse led the region, rising 2.5 percent
and again surpassing the psychological barrier of 5,000 points
as it continued to recover from a slump caused by profit-taking
last week. The index closed at 5,049 points.
Three large lenders, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank,
National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank
, were the main drivers, posting gains of 7.6, 4.9 and
3.2 percent respectively.
All three banks will become part of the MSCI emerging market
index at the end of this week as MSCI upgrades the
United Arab Emirates and Qatar from frontier market status. So
will developer Aldar Properties, whose shares added
The MSCI upgrade has already attracted hundreds of millions
of dollars in new foreign investment and is expected to bring in
more around the end of this week in the form of passive funds
tracking the emerging market index.
MSCI picks were also the main supports in Dubai, where the
main index rose 1.9 percent. Developer Emaar Properties
added 3.7 percent, Dubai Islamic Bank was up
7.5 percent and bourse operator Dubai Financial Market
rose 4.2 percent.
Emaar said on Monday it would list up to 25 percent of its
malls business on the Dubai Financial Market; the initial public
offer is expected to raise 8 to 9 billion dirhams ($2.18-$2.45
The intention to conduct an IPO of the unit had already been
announced, but Emaar officials had previously indicated there
might be a dual listing in Dubai and London; Emaar's decision to
make Dubai the primary and possibly only listing is a vote of
confidence in Dubai and may draw fresh foreign money to it.
Shares in port operator DP World which trade on a
different exchange, Nasdaq Dubai, added 4.0 percent while
trading volume in the stock hit a four-year high.
"We are entering a very speculative phase in the market as
we are now very close to the MSCI inclusion," said Sebastien
Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor.
Qatar's index added 0.3 percent on top of last
session's all-time high. The market's main supports were Islamic
lender Masraf Al Rayan, up 2.3 percent, and mobile
telephone operator Ooredoo, which rose 2.4 percent.
The two stocks will have the heaviest weights in Qatar's portion
of the MSCI index.
Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 percent to 9,822
points, its highest level since May 2008, with gains in all
major sectors including petrochemicals, banks, retailers and
"There is growth across the board," said Henin from The
National Investor. "It is very different from Dubai and Abu
Dhabi where you have hot stocks. It is less speculative than
Dubai, I would say."
Kuwait's bourse was the biggest loser in the Gulf on
Monday, shedding 0.9 percent as it continued this year's
But even though the main index is down 4.1 percent
year-to-date, Kuwait's large-cap benchmark has risen
10.7 percent - bigger Kuwaiti firms will see their weightings in
MSCI's frontier market index increase when the UAE and Qatar
leave that index.
In Egypt, the main index moved little, edging down
0.3 percent from Sunday's 69-month high, as the nation went to
the polls to elect a new president, with former army chief Abdel
Fattah el-Sisi looking certain to win.
* The index rose 1.9 percent to 4,955 points.
* The index rose 2.5 percent to 5,049 points.
* The index rose 0.3 percent to 13,393 points.
* The index fell 0.9 percent to 7,243 points.
* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 9,822 points.
* The index slid 0.3 percent to 8,736 points.
* The index slipped 0.5 percent to 1,458 points.
* The index fell 0.1 percent to 6,718 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by)