May 22, 2018 / 8:16 AM / in a month

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emirates NBD's Turkish deal lifts Dubai index

DUBAI, May 22 (Reuters) - Dubai stocks led gains among Gulf markets in early trading on Tuesday, helped by a surge in Emirates NBD after it agreed to buy Turkish lender Denizbank for $3.2 billion.

The Dubai index was up 0.8 percent on Tuesday, with Emirates NBD, climbing 6.9 percent. Dubai’s largest bank has been one of the standout performers in the Dubai market so far this year, with its gains so far reaching around 29 percent.

Emirates NBD, which already has a presence outside the United Arab Emirates in several countries, said the deal would add value for shareholders in the first year.

Emaar Properties was the other large driver of the index, rising 0.6 percent. Emaar Properties and other property stocks have been given a lift since a decision earlier this week by the United Arab Emirates’ government to grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists.

The Saudi index was down 0.3 percent in early trade. National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in the kingdom by assets, was down 1.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi was the other strong performer in early trade with the index climbing 0.8 percent, supported by First Abu Dhabi Bank, the emirate’s largest bank, which gained 1.8 percent.

In Qatar, the index was up 0.5 percent. Commercial Bank was flat. Moody’s downgraded the bank’s long-term deposit ratings to A3 from A2 and its short-term deposit ratings to Prime-2 from Prime-1. The agency maintained the bank’s outlook as negative.

Doha Bank’s stock was up 1.3 percent, despite Moody’s downgrading the bank’s long-term deposit ratings to A3 from A2 and short-term deposit ratings to Prime-2 from Prime-1, while maintaining the outlook as negative. (Reporting by Tom Arnold Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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