November 27, 2017 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Jordan cement deal helps Saudi shares but region moves little

* Al Jouf Cement, Saudi Industrial Export surge

* One of first major export success after tariffs cut

* Qatar’s Ezdan Holding rebound

* Dubai’s Emaar Properties slips again

* Drake & Scull rises after inclusion in MSCI GCC index

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

DUBAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock index edged higher on Monday after Al Jouf Cement and Saudi Industrial Export Co announced an export deal with Jordan, but the region as a whole traded in small ranges, lacking fresh stimulus.

The Saudi index closed 0.1 percent higher at 6,939 points after approaching and failing to break technical resistance around 7,000 points, which has held since mid-October.

Al Jouf rose 3.4 percent and Saudi Industrial Export Co, which has been trading at 13-year lows, jumped 5.1 percent. Saudi Industrial Export said it had signed a sale and marketing contract with Al Jouf to supply 72,000 tonnes of cement annually to Jordan.

Saudi cement firms have been hit by a domestic construction industry slowdown, and the Jordan deal appears to mark one of the industry’s first major export successes, after the Saudi government said in July that it was slashing cement export tariffs by 50 percent.

Exchange data released late on Sunday showed foreign investors were net sellers of Saudi Arabian equities for a third straight week in the wake of authorities’ sweeping crackdown on corruption, but by a smaller margin than in the previous week, suggesting capital flows may soon stabilise.

Foreign investors sold 835 million riyals ($223 million) of Saudi stocks and bought 598 million riyals in the week through Nov. 23, resulting in net selling of 237 million riyals. That compares with net selling of 309 million riyals in the week to Nov. 16 and 1.08 billion riyals in the week to Nov. 9, immediately after the purge was announced.

In Qatar, the main index also edged up 0.1 percent. Vodafone Qatar, the most heavily traded stock, surged 4.0 percent real estate firm Ezdan Holding, which was downgraded to junk status by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s earlier this month, climbed 4.7 percent. It has been recovering since late last week but is still down 47 percent year-to-date.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.1 percent although Drake & Scull rose 2.3 percent after it announced its shares had been included in the MSCI GCC index. That index covers about 85 percent of the free float-adjusted market capitalisation in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and is less exclusive than MSCI’s emerging markets index, which is used by many more funds.

The index was held down by Emaar Properties, which fell 0.9 percent, and GFH Financial, which lost 1.7 percent.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,939 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 3,445 points.


* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 4,275 points.


* The index rose 0.1 percent to 7,768 points.


* The index edged down 0.02 percent to 14,220 points.


* The index edged down 0.03 percent to 6,255 points.


* The index lost 0.6 percent to 1,270 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,108 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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