March 25, 2019 / 1:38 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt hit by sell-off of blue chips, financials lift Qatar

    * 26 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall
    * QIIB rises after increase in foreign ownership limit 
    * Union Properties jumps after direct deal 
    * Shuaa Capitals sees biggest intra-day gain since Dec 2014

    By Ateeq Shariff
    March 25 (Reuters) - Egypt's index fell sharply on Monday,
pulled down by its blue-chip shares, while Qatar's index was
lifted by its financial stocks. 
    The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 1.2 percent,
with 26 of its 30 stocks declining. Egyptians were the net
sellers of stocks during the session and non-Arab foreigners
were the net buyers, according to data on the exchange website.
    Egyptian Chemical Industries lost 5 percent and
Palm Hills Development declined 4.6 percent. The
former said it expects to post profit of 296.8 million Egyptian
pounds ($17.21 million)on sales of 3.63 billion Egyptian pounds
for the full-year 2019-2020. 
    Qatar's index added 0.6 percent with most of its
financial stocks gaining. 
    Qatar International Islamic Bank added 3.5
percent, its biggest intraday gain in over a year, after its
shareholders approved an increase in its foreign ownership limit
to 49 percent from 25 percent.
    Sharia-compliant lender Qatar Islamic Bank
increased 1.5 percent. Last week, the company completed an
international bond issuance of $750 million sukuk. 
    The Dubai index also rose 0.6 percent, with its
largest lender listed-developer Emaar Properties
rising 2.1 percent and its unit Emaar Malls adding 1.1
    Union Properties climbed 9.4 percent after Dubai
Financial Market (DFM) said that a direct deal worth 60
million dirhams ($16.34 million) was implemented on 155.5
million shares of Union Properties. DFM slid 1.7 percent in
active trade.
    Shuaa Capital jumped 13.4 percent - its biggest
one gain since December 2014, after it said it was in talks with
Abu Dhabi Financial Group on a potential merger.
    The Saudi index gained 0.2 percent, with Al Rajhi
Bank rising 0.8 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi
 increasing 1.1 percent.
    The Saudi market ended the previous week at its highest in
almost four years after its inclusion in the FTSE Russell's
emerging-market index.
    Makkah Construction and Development Co rose 1.9
percent after the developer reported a hike in its full-year net
    The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.5 percent with its
largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.1
    Eshraq Properties rose 5 percent after its board
approved the cross listing of its shares on the Saudi's main
Tadawul index.
    But Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank slid 0.4 percent. Al
Hilal Bank has made about 160 people redundant ahead of a
three-way merger with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Union
National Bank, sources familiar with the matter told
Reuters. Union National inched up 0.4 percent.

 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         edged up 0.2 pct to 8,667
 ABU DHABI     The index        rose 0.5 pct to 5,118 points
 DUBAI         The index          added 0.6 pct to 2,634 points
 QATAR         The index        gained 0.6 pct to 9,949 points
 EGYPT         The index          fell 1.2 pct to 14,671 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 0.4 pct at 5,943 points
 OMAN          The index        was flat at 4,128 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        fell 0.5 pct to 1,416 points
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 17.2500 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;
Editing by Alison Williams)
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