May 31, 2018 / 2:38 PM / 20 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai and Saudi bourses lead Gulf gains, Egypt sinks

* Dubai closes up on heavy trade in DIB shares

* Last day to buy DIB rights issue was Wednesday

* Fund managers more bullish on UAE than in previous eight months

* Saudi gains led by SABIC

By Katie Paul

DUBAI, May 31 (Reuters) - Gulf markets mostly gained on Thursday, led by Dubai, which was carried upward by renewed buying of shares in heavyweight Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) , and Saudi Arabia.

The Dubai index closed up 1.9 percent, with gains led by a 5.9 percent spike in DIB shares in heavy trade to 5.07 dirhams following the last day of trade in the bank’s rights issue, which allowed purchases of DIB shares at 3.11 dirhams.

Investors had been selling DIB stock to buy the rights before the Wednesday deadline, contributing to its 13 percent decline this year.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 1.1 percent.

Middle East fund managers are now more bullish on United Arab Emirates equities than Saudi equities for the first time in eight months, following months of outflows from Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index likewise rose 1.9 percent, pulled up by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) , the largest company on the bourse.

The petrochemical firm jumped 4.3 percent on a minor rebound in the oil price and enthusiasm related to the Tadawul’s upcoming inclusion in the MSCI emerging markets index, reaching a four-year high.

Financial blue chips National Commercial Bank, Samba and Banque Saudi Fransi were also among the market’s biggest gainers.

Elsewhere markets were mixed with Qatar’s index down 0.4 percent, Bahrain’s BB All Share up 0.4 percent and Oman up 0.2 percent.

Shares in several Qatar blue chips have risen since May 15 after MSCI said it would raise their weightings in its index at the end of this month, after the companies increase their foreign ownership ceilings.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s benchmark index sank 2.1 percent, weighed down by electric cable company El Sewedy Cables , down 3.6 percent, and Misr Fertilizers, down 2.9 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA * The index gained 1.9 percent to 8,161 points. DUBAI * The index rose 1.9 percent to 2,964 points. ABU DHABI * The index gained 1.1 percent to 4,605 points. QATAR * The index fell 0.4 percent to 8,881 points. KUWAIT * The index lost 0.18 percent to 4,736 points. BAHRAIN * The index gained 0.4 percent to 1,266 points. OMAN * The index rose 0.2 percent to 4,607 points. EGYPT * The index fell 2.1 percent to 16,415 points. (Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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