* Oil leaps on hopes for OPEC deal
* Saudi index erases this year's losses
* Dubai's volume shrinks before public holiday
* Egypt's CIB surges on hopes for sale of investment bank
By Andrew Torchia
DUBAI, Nov 30 An 8 percent leap in oil prices
due to hopes for OPEC output cuts boosted Gulf stock markets on
Wednesday with Saudi Arabia climbing to its highest level this
year, while foreign buying lifted Egypt's bourse again.
The Saudi index climbed 1.5 percent to 7,000 points
in heavy trade, confirming a break of major technical resistance
on its April peak of 6,876 points. That triggers a double bottom
formed by this year's lows and pointing up to around 8,400
points in the long term.
The index has soared over 25 percent from October's
multi-year low since a $17.5 billion international bond issue by
the government eased fears about its ability to cope with an era
of cheap oil, and helped it begin making delayed payments to
settle its debts to private companies.
The market's sharp rebound means many stocks are no longer
valued cheaply, and a monthly Reuters poll of leading Middle
East fund managers, published on Wednesday, showed them becoming
more cautious towards Saudi equities for that reason.
Twenty-nine percent said they expected to increase
allocations to the Saudi stock market in the next three months
and 21 percent to reduce them, compared to ratios of 36 percent
and 14 percent last month.
Many analysts believe that even if OPEC reaches an output
deal with non-OPEC oil producers, oil prices may not recover
much further - and financial pressures on Gulf oil exporting
nations will remain heavy.
But the prospect of a deal triggered broad buying of Saudi
stocks on Wednesday. The petrochemical sector led the market up,
with blue chip Saudi Basic Industries jumping 4.4
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) rose 1.8
percent after announcing a 24 billion riyal ($6.4 billion)
project to boost its phosphate capacity. The banking sector
underperformed, rising only 0.7 percent.
Other Gulf markets traded sideways early on but rose in late
trade as oil prices began to surge. Dubai's index rose
0.8 percent, athough trading volume was low ahead of the start
of a long holiday weekend on Thursday.
Eight of the 10 most heavily traded Dubai stocks fell but
blue chip Emaar Properties surged 2.1 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index rose 1.1 percent but that was
largely on the back of a 6.0 percent gain by telecommunications
firm Etisalat ; most of the active stocks were flat or
In Qatar, the index added 1.6 percent as Qatar
National Bank surged 3.8 percent.
Egypt's index climbed 2.6 percent in heavy trade,
with Commercial International Bank, the largest
lender, adding 4.0 percent after a source told Reuters that it
aimed to sell 70 percent of its investment banking arm CI
Capital to local investors in a deal likely to be finalised
Among other major gainers, GB Auto surged 7.5
Exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of
Egyptian stocks by a relatively large margin of about $10
million. They have been net buyers every day since the float of
the Egyptian pound on Nov. 3.
* The index surged 1.5 percent to 7,000 points.
* The index rose 0.8 percent to 3,361 points.
* The index climbed 1.1 percent to 4,309 points.
* The index jumped 2.6 percent to 11,453 points.
* The index added 1.6 percent to 9,794 points.
* The index rose 0.2 percent to 5,554 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,488 points.
* The index dropped 0.3 percent to 1,174 points.