February 22, 2018 / 7:52 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar continues to buoy Dubai, ex-dividend Qatar Islamic Bank tumbles

DUBAI, Feb 22 (Reuters) - A rebound of shares in blue chip Emaar Properties continued to buoy Dubai’s stock market in early trade on Thursday while the rest of the region mostly moved sideways.

Emaar, which had been trading near 14-month lows, surged 3.2 percent on Wednesday in its heaviest volume this year as some funds returned to the stock, apparently attracted by undemanding valuations compared to emerging market peers.

On Thursday morning the stock climbed a further 1.9 percent in unusually heavy trade, helping to lift Dubai’s stock index by 0.9 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent in the first half-hour with Al Jazira Bank adding 0.5 percent after the securities regulator approved its request to conduct a 3 billion riyal ($800 million) rights issue.

In Qatar, the index sank 0.8 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank went ex-dividend, tumbling 4.9 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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