April 10, 2019 / 1:26 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai nears 5-month high, most major Gulf markets rise

    * Saudi Basic Industries drops after going ex-dividend
    * Nine of 10 Saudi banks gain
    * National Agriculture Marketing up on capital increase plan
    * Qatar's lawsuit pulls down FAB

    By Ateeq Shariff
    April 10 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market rose for the tenth
straight session on Wednesday, lifted by its financial shares,
while Abu Dhabi was pulled lower by its top lender First Abu
Dhabi Bank.
    The Dubai index gained 0.2 percent, hovering around
five-month high, with Emaar Properties adding 1.2
percent and Mashreq Bank jumping 5.3 percent.
    This month, the latter's retail banking head said it would
close 12 of its branches by June as it shifts some of its
business online.
    Emirates NBD said it would sell 127.5 million
shares in Network International for a total of 554.5
million pounds ($725.2 million) through a secondary listing of
the shares on the London Stock Exchange.
    The bank continues to hold a 25.5 percent stake in the
payments processor. The stock was flat.
    Saudi Arabia's index increased 0.3 percent, with
most of its banking shares gaining. Riyad Bank was up
2.2 percent and Al Jazira Bank increased 1.3 percent.
    National Agriculture Marketing Company jumped 6.8
percent. Its board proposed a rights issue to raise 150 million
riyals ($40 million).
    On Wednesday, the company was fined 20,000 riyals by the
Capital Markets Authority for a regulatory rule violation. 
    But market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries
dropped 1.4 percent as it traded ex-dividend.
    The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.4 percent, led by 1.1
percent fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and 1.6
percent slide in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
    Last week, the banks denied they were in merger talks after
a news report said the emirate was considering combining them.
    On Monday, Qatar filed lawsuits against three banks
including First Abu Dhabi Bank, accusing the trio of overseas
currency manipulation which caused billions of dollars of damage
to Qatar's economy.
    Qatar's blue-chip index edged up 0.2 percent, lifted
by a 1.9 percent gain in its largest sharia-compliant lender
Qatar Islamic Bank.
    The Egyptian index moved 0.1 percent higher, partly
on back of its blue-chip stock Talaat Mostafa Group Holding
. The realtor was up 1.2 percent.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was up 0.3 pct to 9,077 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        fell 0.4 pct to 5,058 points
 DUBAI         The index          was up 0.2 pct at 2,808
 QATAR         The index        added 0.2 pct to 10,236 points
 EGYPT         The index          edged up 0.1 pct to 15,107
 BAHRAIN       The index        increased 0.1 pct to 1,443
 OMAN          The index        rose 0.3 pct to 3,984 points
 KUWAIT        The index        gained 0.2 pct to 6,117 points

($1 = 0.7646 pounds)

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark
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