* Real estate, bank stocks lift Dubai and Abu Dhabi
* Investors factor in first-quarter estimates
* Qatar hits highest close since June 2008
* Saudi retailers fall after Jarir Marketing disappoints
* Egypt closes marginally higher
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, April 7 (Reuters) - Property and banking stocks lifted markets in the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Qatar’s blue chips rallied further, while petrochemical and retail names weighed on Saudi Arabia’s bourse.
Dubai’s bourse rose 1.4 percent to 4,654 points, recovering from a minor pull-back on Sunday.
Bourse operator DFM gained 0.6 percent on above-average volumes after a top Dubai economic policymaker said an agreement to merge it with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange had been reached in principle, although nothing had been finalised.
DFM also said last month its trading volumes this year had grown 425 percent year-on-year, which was likely to translate into higher income. HSBC forecast DFM’s first-quarter profit will jump 647 percent to 202 million dirhams ($55 million).
“I think investors are starting to price in (expected) first-quarter numbers,” said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at NBAD Securities.
Dubai Islamic Bank added 2.2 percent. The bank owns a 41 percent stake in developer Deyaar, whose shares have soared following its decision to allow foreign ownership of the stock.
Developers Emaar Properties and Union Properties along with contractors Arabtec and Drake and Scull were among Dubai’s other notable gainers.
Residential property prices in the emirate grew 33 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to a report from property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle on Monday. It forecast further price and rent increases across all property sectors this year.
Real estate investment trust Emirates REIT IPO-EMIR.DU will further test investor appetite for the sector when it starts trading on NASDAQ Dubai on Tuesday.
The trust priced its initial public offering at a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.2, slightly below Union Properties’ 5.6. Bigger names Emaar and Aldar Properties trade at 25.6 and 10.3 respectively, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Abu Dhabi’s bourse scaled the psychologically-important level of 5,000 points, rising 0.9 percent to 5,012.
Aldar rose 4 percent to a fresh four-year high, up for a second day after unveiling tentative plans to float its property management unit Khidmah.
National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels jumped its daily limit of 15 percent ahead of the April 9 shareholder registration deadline for its 50-percent cash dividend payout.
Doha’s bourse rose 1 percent to 12,217 points, its highest finish since June 2008, as blue-chip stocks led gains.
Qatar’s adoption of a record $60 billion state budget late last month sparked the latest rally. The benchmark is now up 18 percent in 2014 and is the second-best performing Gulf index behind Dubai, which has gained 38 percent.
Saudi Arabia’s bourse slipped 0.3 percent to 9,508 points. Heavyweight petrochemicals producer SABIC fell 0.6 percent as global oil prices eased on expectations of increased Libyan supplies. Other petrochemicals also dipped.
But the biggest loser was the retail sector, which dropped 1.1 percent. Jarir Marketing fell 1.2 percent after its first quarter profit slightly missed analysts’ forecasts.
Egypt’s bourse, which has been in profit-taking mode since late March, edged lower in early trade but then recovered to close up 0.1 percent at 7,530 points as telecom stocks led.
* The index rose 1.4 percent to 4,654 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 5,012 points.
* The index climbed 1.0 percent to 12,217 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 9,508 points.
* The index edged up 0.08 percent to 7,530 points.
* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 7,600 points.
* The index rose 0.1 percent to 1,376 points. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams) (Editing by Matt Smith)