February 4, 2019 / 1:53 PM / 9 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-FAB elevates Abu Dhabi, COMI lifts Egypt

    * Abu Dhabi closes at highest in more than four years
    * ADCB reaches its highest in more than 13 years
    * Property stocks continue to slide in Dubai
    * Egypt bule-chip index rises for eighth straight day
    * Qatar's Nakilat surges after stake purchase deal

    By Shakeel Ahmad
    Feb 4 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi stock market rose sharply on
Monday, buoyed by First Abu Dhabi Bank after it
proposed an increase in the foreign ownership limit, while
Egypt's blue-chip index was lifted by its top lender Commercial
International Bank. 
    The Abu Dhabi index gained for a third straight day,
rising 1 percent to close at its highest sice Oct. 2014.
    The United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi
Bank jumped 2.3 percent to 15.34 dirhams, its highest
close since May 29, 2014. The bank had last week proposed an
increase in its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25
percent and had posted a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter
profit, beating analysts' forecasts.
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) added 2 percent
to touch its highest since Dec. 2005. The stock has been rising
in most of last sessions after ADCB, Union National Bank
(UNB) and unlisted Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger to
create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates with
$114 billion of assets. UNB gained 1 percent.
    Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.9 percent, boosted
by a 3.1 percent gain in the country's biggest lender Commercial
International Bank. Financial Regulatory Authority has
granted the bank the go-ahead for its authorised capital
increase to 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.84 billion) from 20
billion pounds. 
    Juhayna Food Industries increased 4.3 percent.
Juhayna had last week said that its annual profit more than
    In Dubai, the index fell 0.4 percent as most its
property stocks retreated. The emirates largest listed developer
Emaar Properties shed 1.7 percent while its units
Emaar Malls and Emaar Development were
down 2.7 percent and 2 percent respectively. 
    Developer DAMAC Properties dropped 2.3 percent. 
    The three firms' share performance over the past year sets
them up for exclusion from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in
May under the compiler's criteria for membership, which has been
weighing on these stocks.
    Qatar's index rose 0.4 percent as Qatar Gas Transport
(Nakilat) surged 4.6 percent. Qatar Navigation
(Milaha) said it agreed through its unit to buy Qatar
Investment Authority's 5.9 percent stake in Nakilat, raising its
stake to 36.3 percent. Milaha gained 1.1 percent. 
    Saudi Arabia's main index shed 0.1 percent, weighed
down by its real estate stocks with property developer Jabal
Omar Development dropping 1.6 percent. 
    Saudi Real Estate Co decreased 1.6 percent; the
firm has appointed Ayman Bin Mohamed al-Mudaifer as its
    But Dallah Healthcare rose 2.4 percent after its
board approved a buyback of 5 percent of ordinary shares.
 SAUDI       The index         slipped 0.1 pct to 8,521 points
 DUBAI       The index          fell 0.4 pct to 2,529 points
 QATAR       The index        rose 0.4 pct to 10,728 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        rose 1 pct to 5,128 points
 EGYPT       The index          rose 0.9 pct to 14,366 points
 KUWAIT      The index        rose 0.4 pct to 5,426 points
 OMAN        The index        rose 0.5 pct to 4,166 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        was up 0.1 pct at 1,398 points

($1 = 17.6200 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise
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