June 28, 2018 / 9:29 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai heads for 12-day losing streak as Saudi rises

RIYADH, June 28 (Reuters) - Dubai stocks looked on course for a 12th straight day of losses on Thursday as construction shares fell, while the Saudi market rose modestly.

The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent, with the main support coming from property Developers Jabal Omar and Dar Al Arkan which jumped 4.3 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. Makkah Construction rose 2.1 percent.

Jabal Omar and Makkah have projects around the Grand Mosque in Mecca and often rise at this time of year as occupancy rates peak during the annual Haj pilgrimage which is expected to start in August.

The Saudi index has jumped two percent since June 20, after index provider MSCI added the kingdom’s bourse to its emerging markets benchmark.

By contrast, the property sector weighed in Dubai, where the index lost 0.3 percent, putting it on course for another day of unbroken declines since it recorded a two-month high on June 12.

Anxiety about the outlook for Dubai’s property market has risen amid concerns about oversupply.

Emaar Malls fell 1.9 percent and Damac lost 0.9 percent.

Drake & Scull (DSI) dropped 5.3 percent to 0.70 dirhams ($0.18), its lower ever. The stock is heading for its fourth consecutive decline and is down 68 percent so far this year as retail investors have offloaded it amid concerns about its business outlook and an investigation into its former management team.

The company said in a bourse filing on Thursday that the recent sell-off of its shares was not related to any major news, but due to a financial institution selling shares of one of the investors as per a previous financing agreement.

Emaar Properties, the largest listed stock on the Dubai market, recovered from a two-day decline and rose 0.2 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.1 percent as Dana Gas fell 2.9 percent. The company said on Wednesday that it holds $6 million in a fund managed by an affiliate of Abraaj Investment Management Limited.

Abraaj has been bruised by a dispute with some of its investors over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. The group has denied it misused the funds.

Property developer Aldar rose 1.0 percent.

The Doha index rose 0.6 percent, backed by an 8.0 percent gain by Qatar Navigation and a 1.6 percent increase by telecom firm Oreedo.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

Reporting by Marwa Rashad; editing by John Stonestreet

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