May 28, 2018 / 7:53 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar index leads region, lifted by foreign ownership plans

DUBAI, May 28 (Reuters) - Qatari stocks led regional gains on Monday, with other markets generally subdued amid sluggish trading volumes during Ramadan.

The Qatar index was up 1.2 percent in early trading, with Qatar National Bank rising by 2.9 percent.

The region’s largest bank has been bolstered in recent months by its move to increase its foreign ownership ceiling to 49 percent from 25 percent to boost its weighting on global indexes.

Industries Qatar, which has the largest weighting on the index, rose by 1.9 percent.

Qatar stocks have also been boosted by a government announcement last week that it was moving ahead with a draft law to allow full foreign ownership of companies.

Saudi’s main stock index dropped by 0.2 percent, with Savola Group and developer Dar Al Arkan Real Estate both down 2 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4 percent, helped by a 1.9 percent rise for Dana Gas after it said it had received $40 million in payments from the Egyptian government.

The Dubai index was broadly flat, edging up by 0.1 percent. (Reporting by Tom Arnold Editing by David Goodman)

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