MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar may stay firm, Saudi stagnate on oil

DUBAI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar may stay firm on Wednesday after healthy gains on the previous day, but Saudi Arabia stalled on Tuesday and lower oil prices may cause that pattern to continue there.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.1 percent but oil prices pulled back 2 percent overnight.

In Dubai, Amlak Finance may attract interest after saying it renegotiated parts of a debt restructuring which the Islamic mortgage provider agreed with creditors following the local property market crash of 2008.

Amlak said creditors agreed to waive a number of covenants, adjusting restrictions to allow the company to expand its mortgage book, raise more funds and add new business.

A monthly Reuters survey of leading Middle East fund managers at the end of December found them bullish on regional equities in general, especially the UAE and Qatar, where they intended to capture high annual dividend yields.

But they were more cautious on Saudi Arabia for now because they felt valuations were starting to become rich again. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)