May 29, 2018 / 1:01 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks see limited gains, property shares weigh on Dubai

* Trading volumes stay low because of Ramadan

* Drake & Scull drops in Dubai

* Dubai Islamic Bank rights trading to end this week

* Banking shares up in Saudi and Abu Dhabi

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, May 29 (Reuters) - Dubai shares were sluggish on Tuesday, dragged down by property stocks, while other Gulf markets closed in positive territory.

Gains were modest amid very thin trading volumes during the holy month of Ramadan, a risk-off sentiment in foreign markets as well as slightly lower oil prices over the past few days.

In Dubai where the index slipped 0.2 percent, property stocks such as Union Properties and blue-chip Emaar Properties lost 1.1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Building contractor Drake & Scull International shed 1.7 percent, after gains this month following positive first-quarter results.

The company reported a net profit of 7.3 million dirhams ($1.99 million) for the first quarter of this year, against an 838.8 million loss in the first quarter of 2017.

However, in a note earlier this week, research firm AlphaMena said a sustainable recovery for the stock was unlikely “since the contractor is still facing liquidity issues and needs to improve its business efficiency.”

Heavyweight Dubai Islamic Bank rose 1.2 percent to 4.79 dirhams, recovering after falling early on Tuesday. The bank’s shares have been sliding since it launched a rights issue in mid-May with an issue price of 3.11 dirhams per new share. The rights trading period ends on May 30.

In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.5 percent, lifted by gains in banking and petrochemical shares. Alinma Bank and Bank Aljazira rose 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Blue-chip Saudi Basic Industries Corporation climbed 1.7 percent.

The Qatari index closed flat, after surging earlier this week because of rising blue-chip stocks and government plans to allow full foreign ownership of companies.

In Abu Dhabi, banking shares such as First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gained 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. The index rose 0.6 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index gained 0.5 percent to 8,000 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 2,925 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index increased 0.6 percent to 4,575 points.

QATAR

* The index was flat at 9,126 points.

KUWAIT

* The index gained 0.4 percent to 4,712 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 1,263 points.

OMAN

* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 4,598 points.

EGYPT

* The index went up 1.3 percent to 17,006 points.

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham Editing by Susan Fenton

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