August 21, 2017 / 7:58 AM / in 10 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar underperforms peers, stable oil prices help Saudi petchems

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Qatar’s bourse underperformed its neighbours in early trade on Monday while Saudi Arabia’s index rose slightly, helped by robust oil prices.

Qatar’s index was down 0.5 percent as 70 percent of the 20 most valuable shares declined. Vodafone Qatar fell 0.6 percent, wiping out Sunday’s 0.5 percent gain.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.1 percent as 12 shares declined, including builder Drake & Scull, which fell 0.8 percent. DSI said on Monday it was seeking shareholder approval to convert the company into a sharia-compliant entity.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was flat, with Dana Gas extending the previous session’s gain to add 1.6 percent. Aldar Properties was down 0.4 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, Jadwa REIT Haramain Fund rose 1.0 percent after the trust said it would distribute a cash dividend of 0.1 riyal per share for the 75-day period to June 30.

Maather REIT Fund will list on Tuesday, taking the number of listed real estate investment trusts in Saudi Arabia to five. Analysts at NCB Capital estimated that based on its subscription price of 10 riyals per share, its dividend yield for 2017 would be 7.2 percent.

Its subscription was covered 15.2 times, signalling strong appetite for real estate-related securities among local investors.

All but two of the listed Saudi petrochemical makers were up in early trade, with Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.4 percent, helping take the Saudi stock index 0.2 percent higher after 35 minutes of trade. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Heavens)

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