September 13, 2018 / 8:17 AM / in 2 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls in broader decline, lags emerging markets

DUBAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian stocks fell in a broad-based Middle East decline on Thursday, missing out on a wider emerging markets rebound.

The MSCI emerging market index was up 0.9 percent but the Saudi index slipped 0.5 percent in the first 45 minutes, with losers outnumbering gainers by 98 to 33.

Individual investors have been net sellers of Saudi stocks for most of the past several weeks while institutions have become more cautious because of the instability in emerging markets and global trade tensions.

Insurer MedGulf sank 5.3 percent after surging on the two previous days because shareholders as of end-Wednesday were entitled to a discounted rights issue.

Sahara Petrochemical lost 1.7 percent after announcing an emergency shutdown of one of its affiliates for as much as 17 days because of power outages; it estimated this could cost 23.3 million riyals ($6.2 million) in profits.

Saudi Paper rose 5.3 percent, however, as it resumed trading after a suspension of two days due to a capital decrease.

In Qatar, the index was flat after closing on Wednesday at a 16-month high. Kuwait’s blue chip index, in an uptrend for the past two weeks ahead of Kuwait’s partial entry into FTSE Russell’s emerging market index on Sept. 24, rose 0.3 percent.

United Arab Emirates markets were closed for a public holiday. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Alexander Smith)

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