August 22, 2017 / 1:25 PM / in 4 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Al Rajhi Bank, Ma'aden boost Saudi; Dubai also outperforms

* Al Rajhi gains nearly 5 percent in five days

* Ma‘aden boosted by base metal prices at multi-year highs

* Maather REIT jumps by 10 percent limit on listing

* Dana Gas pulls back after sharp rise

* Qatar’s Investment Holding bounces after post-listing slide

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Tuesday on the back of gains by Al Rajhi Bank and mining firm Ma‘aden, while Dubai also outperformed most Gulf bourses although trading was thin.

The Saudi stock index climbed 0.4 percent with Al Rajhi up 2.2 percent to 65.80 riyals, bringing its gains over the last five days to 4.9 percent. Of 14 analysts covering the stock, seven rate it a “buy” or “strong buy” and six rate it a “hold”, according to Thomson Reuters data; their median target price is 70.90 riyals.

Ma‘aden rose 1.8 percent after international base metal prices surged to multi-year highs overnight.

Maather REIT Fund jumped its 10 percent daily limit from its initial public offer price to 11.0 riyals upon listing in Riyadh to become Saudi Arabia’s fifth listed REIT.

Its subscription in the IPO had been covered 15.2 times and analysts at NCB Capital had estimated that based on its subscription price of 10 riyals per share, its dividend yield for 2017 would be 7.2 percent.

Three other REITs were among the 10 most actively traded stocks and swung widely, although they closed lower. Al Jazira Mawten REIT fell 2.2 percent.

International index compiler FTSE is due to decide towards the end of September whether to upgrade Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to secondary emerging market status, which could bring them billion of dollars of fresh passive and active fund inflows.

Some investors have begun positioning for the decisions, and Arqaam Capital said in a report on Tuesday that positive decisions appeared likely in both cases, although actual inclusion would probably only occur in two phases in September 2018 and March 2019.

However, Tarek Fadlallah, chief executive of Nomura Asset Management Middle East, wrote in a report that macroeconomic indicators suggested a subdued outlook for Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and that while profits at listed regional companies had stabilised, valuations were not particularly cheap against international peers or their own historical averages.

“Investors may take a wait and see attitude as they evaluate the path and consequences of economic reform,” he wrote of GCC bourses.

Dubai’s index rose 0.5 percent as blue chip Emaar Properties added 0.6 percent, but only six of the 10 most heavily traded stocks rose.

Abu Dhabi stocks fell 0.5 percent as Dana Gas , which had soared 8.1 percent on Monday after reporting a sharp rise in second-quarter net profit last week, pulled back 4.5 percent.

Qatar’s index was flat as trading volume rose slightly from Monday’s level, which was the lowest this year. Investment Holding Group, which plunged after listing last week following an IPO at 10 riyals per share, rebounded 2.7 percent to 7.72 riyals.

In Egypt, the index edged up 0.1 percent. GB Auto climbed 3.9 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 7,254 points.

DUBAI

* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 3,611 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index dropped 0.5 percent to 4,474 points.

QATAR

* The index was flat at 9,065 points.

EGYPT

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 13,115 points.

KUWAIT

* The index gained 0.3 percent to 6,932 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 1,308 points.

OMAN

* The index climbed 0.6 percent to 4,972 points. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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