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Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai gains, led by Emaar; Qatar slips to four-month low

Feb 14 2019

* Emaar Properties and units lift Dubai index on Q4 earnings * Air Arabia drops to near 6-year low * 16 of 20 stocks on Qatar's index slip * Qatar's Gulf International slumps after posting FY loss By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Feb 14 Dubai stocks rose on Thursday as earnings at Emaar-linked companies lifted its battered real estate shares, while Qatar's market was pulled down to a four-month low by a sell-off in its blue-chip firms. In Dubai, the index rose 1.7 percent, helped by gains in the emirate's largest listed developer, Emaar Properties and its units, Emaar Development and Emaar Malls. Emaar Properties, Dubai's biggest listed property company, gained 6.5 percent. It beat expectations to post a 27 percent rise in its fourth-quarter profit after market close. Emaar Development rose 9.5 percent after its fourth-quarter profit and revenue more than doubled. Its margins remained steady for the year, suggesting cost efficiencies, as asset prices continue to fall in Dubai, Arqaam Capital said, even as it said outlook for full-year 2019 is "likely not that bright". Emaar Malls rose 6 percent after reporting a 2.1 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net profit. In 2018, the Dubai index fell more than 25 percent to become the world's worst-performing major stock market in local currency terms, led by declining real estate stocks. Dubai property prices have fallen from their mid-2014 peak, hurting earnings of developers and forcing construction and engineering companies to cut jobs and halt expansion plans. "Some good names were punished due to low investor confidence, but since fourth-quarter numbers for blue-chips like Emaar and its units were impressive and above expectations, the negative scenario could be out of investors' minds," said Tariq Qaqish, managing director at the asset-management division of Mena Corp Financial Services. But Air Arabia dropped 6.1 percent to its lowest since April, 2013 after posting a full-year loss, hurt by impairments linked to its exposure to collapsed private equity firm Abraaj. Qatar's index fell for a seventh straight day, declining 2.4 percent to its lowest since October 2018. The Middle East's second-largest petrochemical maker, Industries Qatar, fell 5.9 percent, its worst day since March 2018. Qatar performed well in 2018 as companies raised limits on foreign ownership of their shares; the index had jumped 21 percent, making it one of the world's best-performing markets. But the impact of higher ownership limits appears to have faded away with the index falling 2.4 percent year-to-date. Most of Qatar's heavyweights closed in the red last week, with Qatari nationals being net sellers, according to a SICO Research note. Gulf International Services slumped 9.4 percent after reporting a full-year loss compared with a profit a year earlier. The firm did not recommend a dividend for 2018. The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2 percent. The emirate's biggest developer, Aldar Properties, climbed 11.5 percent for its best one-day gain since 2014. It proposed a full-year dividend of 14 fils per share, up from 12 fils a year earlier. Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.2 percent as Commercial International Bank gained 1.7 percent and Arabia Cotton Ginning increased 3.4 percent on higher standalone profit and revenue for the half-year. Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.1 percent with Saudi National Commercial Bank adding 0.7 percent and Savola Group, its largest food products company, gaining 1.8 percent. SAUDI The index edged up 0.1 pct to 8,626 points ARABIA DUBAI The index rose 1.7 pct to 2,534 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.2 pct to 5,036 points QATAR The index fell 2.4 pct to 9,942 points EGYPT The index rose 0.2 pct to 14,984 points KUWAIT The index fell 0.9 pct to 5,420 points OMAN The index was down 0.1 pct at 4,109 points BAHRAIN The index was down 0.2 pct to 1,372 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slides on wide sell-off, all major Gulf markets drop

Feb 07 2019

* 19 of 20 stocks on Qatari index fall * All of Dubai's property stocks decline * Egypt snaps 10-day winning streak * Waha Capital plunges on lower profit By Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Feb 7 Qatar's stock market fell sharply on Thursday as all but one of its stocks slid, while all major Gulf bourses also tumbled, mostly pressured by financial shares. Qatar's index, one of the world's best performing markets last year, fell 1.7 percent with 19 of its 20 stocks declining. Market heavyweight Industries Qatar dropped 1.9 percent and Middle East's largest lender Qatar National Bank was down 1.6 percent. Qatar's stocks have run ahead of fundamentals due to the increase in foreign ownership limit in some companies, which led to a huge passive inflow into the stock market, said Sanat Sachar, equity research analyst at Al Mal Capital. Investors are now looking to allocate money to other regional markets like Saudi, Kuwait, and Egypt that offer better valuations along with some short term catalyst, Sachar added. In October, Qatar saw an additional $1.5 billion flowing into its stock exchange after increasing its foreign ownership limit to 49 percent, the Gulf country's stock exchange market development director Mohsin Mujtaba had said. United Development Company plunged 6.8 percent to its biggest intraday loss since March after its full-year profit fell to 501 million Qatar riyals ($137.62 million) from 538 million riyals a year ago. In Dubai, the index lost 0.6 percent, with all its real estate stocks dropping. The emirate's largest listed developer Emaar Properties dropped 2.7 percent, while its unit Emaar Development lost 3.7 percent. DAMAC Properties was down 3.8 percent. Emaar Development, Emaar Malls and DAMAC's share performance over the past year sets them up for exclusion from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in May under the compiler's criteria for membership, which has been weighing on these stocks. DXB Entertainment lost 3 percent after saying its Six Flags theme park in Dubai had been put on hold as the financing for the project was no longer available. The move is the latest sign that the Gulf's leading tourism and commerce hotspot is being buffeted by an economic slowdown in the region triggered by lower oil prices and geopolitical tensions. DXB Entertainment suspending its expansion has caused investors to reduce their exposure, while DAMAC is down on profit-taking, said Tariq Qaqish, MD, Asset Management Division, Mena Corp Financial Services, Dubai. The Abu Dhabi index was also down 0.6 percent, led by a 10 percent slump in Waha Capital. The investment firm reported a full-year net profit of 145 million dirhams, down from 425.9 million dirhams year ago; it also proposed a 2018 cash dividend of 7.5 percent, down from 15 percent in 2017. Saudi Arabia's index lost 0.2 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank falling 0.4 percent and Savola Group shedding 2.7 percent. Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.1 percent as country's biggest lender Commercial International Bank dropped 0.5 percent after four straight sessions of gains. SAUDI ARABIA The index lost 0.2 pct to 8,613 points DUBAI The index shed 0.6 pct to 2,543 points QATAR The index fell 1.7 pct to 10,505 points ABU DHABI The index slid 0.6 pct to 5,112 points EGYPT The index fell 0.1 pct to 14,754 points KUWAIT The index was flat at 5,440 points OMAN The index was down 0.2 pct at 4,152 points BAHRAIN The index increased 0.7 pct to 1,418 points ($1 = 3.6405 Qatar riyals) ($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-New Saudi-MSCI index dips; earnings boost Dubai

Jan 31 2019

* Saudi's Bahri falls on lower Q4 profit * Dubai's Deyaar gains on FY results * Abu Dhabi's ADCB climbs after three-way banking merger * Egypt's Ezz steel continues to rise on rating hike By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 31 Saudi Arabia's stock market, which introduced the MSCI Tadawul 30 index, fell on Thursday as its bank stocks slid, while Dubai gained sharply lifted by corporate earnings results. Saudi Arabia's main index fell 0.3 percent. National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia dropped 2.5 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit more than halved. But Riyad Bank rose 2.1 percent after posting a 39 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations. The MSCI Tadawul 30 Index (MT30) was down 0.2 percent. The index of the 30 largest securities listed on the Saudi Arabian Equity Market went live on Wednesday. The index's top two heavyweights Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. Separately, Saudi Arabia is set to join the emerging-market indexes of MSCI and FTSE Russell later this year. That is expected to attract $15 billion of "passive" benchmark-linked funds and billions more in active funds, regardless of low oil prices or geopolitical tensions. Saudi's economy grew at a pace of 2.21 percent in 2018, buoyed by strong oil sector growth. The government did not break down the fourth-quarter data, but full-year growth figures suggested economic growth accelerated in the last quarter. In Dubai, the index rose 1.1 percent, boosted by a 1.5 percent increase in the emirate's biggest lender Emirates NBD, and a 1.4 percent gain in Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB). DISB, which fell in the last session after declaring a lower dividend, was upgraded by Arqaam Capital, with a target price of 7.6 dirhams, up from 7.2 dirhams. The brokerage said it welcomed the improved allocation of capital, retaining about 60 percent of its earnings rather than paying out 60 percent as it had in the past. Deyaar Development increased 3.3 percent after reporting a 7.4 percent rise in its full-year profit to 140.1 million dirhams($38.15 million). The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.1 percent. After market closed, the firm reported a 3.9 percent gain its fourth-quarter profit of 2.93 billion dirhams and raised its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) gained 3.7 percent. ADCB, Union National Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger to create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, with $114 billion of assets. UNB traded flat. Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent. Ezz Steel increased 4.8 percent, rising for a third session after HC Research upgraded the stock to "overweight" with price target of 27 Egyptian pounds. Qatar's index was flat with Vodafone Qatar rising 3.3 percent. SAUDI The index fell 0.3 pct to 8,560 points ARABIA DUBAI The index rose 1.1 pct to 2,568 points QATAR The index was flat at 10,720 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.8 pct to 5,045 points EGYPT The index rose 0.2 pct to 14,127 points KUWAIT The index fell 0.2 pct to 5,430 points OMAN The index fell 1.2 pct to 4,166 points BAHRAIN The index was down 0.1 pct at 1,391 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai Islamic drags Dubai, Global Telecom lifts Egypt

Jan 30 2019

* Dubai Islamic Bank slumps 4.4 percent * Egypt's Global Telecom gains on prospect of going private * Heliopolis rises after plan for housing and commercial projects * ADCB changes course to rise on three-way merger By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Ateeq Shariff Jan 30 Dubai's stock market fell sharply on Wednesday, hurt by a fall in Dubai Islamic Bank, while Egypt rose, partly lifted by Global Telecom Holding rising on the prospect of going private. The Dubai index dropped 1.1 percent, with Dubai Islamic Bank, the largest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates, sliding 4.4 percent in heavy trade, its biggest intra-day loss in nine months. The bank reported a 15 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, but investors were disappointed when it proposed a cash dividend of 35 fils per share for 2018 after 45 fils in 2017, said Marwan Shurrab, head of high net worth and retail equities brokage at AlRamz Capital. Egypt's main index gained 0.8 percent, helped by a 7.3 percent surge in Global Telecom Holding. The stock gained for the fourth straight session after its major shareholder, VEON Ltd, said it was considering taking the firm private. Heliopolis Co rose 5.1 percent after saying it planned to implement housing and commercial projects by developing unutilised land. Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.6 percent, with its largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank shedding 1.2 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger to create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, with $114 billion of assets. Under the deal, UNB was valued at $4 billion. "The scope for revenue synergies is restricted in our view, while, post-merger, the combined entity will enjoy a bigger scale in terms of its corporate balance sheet, but there will likely be customer overlap," said Aarthi Chandrasekaran, vice president at Shuaa Capital. UNB was down 1.7 percent, while ADCB was up 1.1 percent. Saudi Arabia's index was flat, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical increasing 3.6 percent and National Company for Glass Industries rising 1.1 percent after its fourth-quarter loss narrowed. The Qatar index was also flat, with Commercial Bank losing 0.7 percent. SAUDI ARABIA The index was flat at 8,584 points DUBAI The index fell 1.1 pct to 2,539 points QATAR The index was flat at 10,719 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.6 pct to 5,005 points EGYPT The index added 0.8 percent to 14,093 points KUWAIT The index rose 0.4 pct to 5,438 points OMAN The index was up 1 pct at 4,216 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.5 pct to 1,392 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 17.6300 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

MIDEAST STOCKS-ADCB merger update lifts Abu Dhabi, most Gulf markets up

Jan 24 2019

* Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank hits highest level since 2014 * Saudi Industrial Investment falls after slide in Q4 profit * Most petchems in Saudi drop * Property stocks continue to weigh on Dubai By Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 24 Abu Dhabi's stock market rose sharply on Thursday, lifted by financials and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's update on a three-way bank merger, while Saudi Arabia edged down as its petrochemical firms slid. The Abu Dhabi index was up one percent, partially lifted by a 5.3 percent hike in Abu Dhabi Commercial bank (ADCB), which enjoyed a four-year high, and a 2.4 percent gain by Union National Bank. ADCB said its board will meet next week to discuss the potential merger between the firm, Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank. If it goes ahead, a merger of the three could create an entity with $113 billion in assets, according to Thomson Reuters data, and the United Arab Emirates' third-biggest lender after First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is reshaping its economy and consolidating state-owned companies to cope with lower oil prices. Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.4 percent, with industry heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp slipping 2 percent. Saudi Industrial Investment lost 4.2 percent after posting a 93.2 percent drop in its fourth-quarter net profit. The company reported net profit after tax of 27 million riyals ($7.20 million) compared with 398 million riyals a year earlier. The Dubai index slid 0.1 percent as its property stocks continued to decline. Dubai's largest-listed developer Emaar Properties dropped 0.5 percent and DAMAC Properties shed 0.8 percent. DAMAC saw its annual profit fall in 2018 and earnings will be similar for the next two years, although Dubai property prices may have hit the bottom, its chairman said. The company is yet to disclose its financial results for the fourth quarter. Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurting earnings of developers and forcing construction and engineering firms to cut jobs and halt expansion plans. DAMAC has plunged by about two thirds in value in the past 12 months, while Emaar Malls and Emaar Development are both down 33 percent. That performance sets them up for exclusion from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in May under the compiler's criteria for membership, said Mohamad Al Hajj, equities strategist at the research arm of EFG-Hermes Holding. The departure of these stocks could lead to combined investment outflows of about $220 million, he added. Qatar's index increased 0.6 percent, with Industries Qatar adding 2.6 percent and Qatar Navigation rising 3.6 percent. The Egyptian stock market was closed for a public holiday. SAUDI ARABIA The index was down 0.4 pct at 8,435 points DUBAI The index slid 0.1 pct to 2,514 points QATAR The index gained 0.6 pct to 10,712 points ABU DHABI The index was up 1 pct at 5,019 points KUWAIT The index rose 0.2 pct to 5,493 points OMAN The index was up 0.3 pct at 4,180 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.9 pct to 1,374 points ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar in Dubai, Editing by William Maclean)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil hurts most of Gulf, blue-chips push down Egypt

Jan 22 2019

* Saudi's Alujain enjoys best day in 14 months * Saudi Steel Pipes has best one-day rise in over 4-1/2 months * 21 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall * Lender Masraf Al Raya weighs on Qatar index By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 22 Saudi Arabia's stock market traded flat on Tuesday after a sharp fall in oil prices, while Egypt's index was pulled down by its blue-chip shares, mirroring a wider decline in emerging markets. Saudi's main index was unchanged after inching up earlier in the session, with petrochemical investor Alujain jumping its 10 percent limit to enjoy its best one-day gain in two years. The firm provided an update on the fire at its affiliate's plant. The fire, which broke out on Oct. 2 at its unit's NATPET plant, halted production. Alujain now expects the plant to start operating all units by the end of September. Saudi Steel Pipes leapt 8.4 percent in active trade. The company said Tenaris completed the acquisition of 47.8 percent of its shares and appointed Mariano Armincol Lamazares as its new Chief Executive. The Egyptian blue-chip index lost 0.7 percent, with 21 of its 30 stocks declining. Non-Arab foreigners were the net sellers of stocks during this session, according to data on the exchange website. El Sewedy Electric dropped 2.3 percent and Eastern Co lost 2.4 percent. In Dubai, the index, which has fallen 1.4 percent this month, dipped 0.2 percent, hurt by its banks and property shares. Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurt by weaker oil prices and muted sales. Its largest bank Emirates NBD was down 1.7 percent and Emaar Development fell 2.3 percent. Qatar's index shed 0.3 percent, pulled down by its energy stocks as oil prices fell nearly 2 percent. Lender Masraf Al Raya was the biggest loser of the day, declining 1.4 percent despite reporting a 6.8 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations, in line with forecasts. Abu Dhabi's index was flat, with Methaq Takaful Insurance jumping 11.5 percent. SAUDI The index was flat at ARABIA 8,399 points DUBAI The index dipped 0.2 pct to 2,494 points QATAR The index lost 0.3 pct to 10,687 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 4,956 points EGYPT The index fell 0.7 pct 13,475 points KUWAIT The index inched up 0.2 pct to 5,501 points OMAN The index was up 0.1 pct at 4,182 points BAHRAIN The index was up 0.2 pct at 1,352 points (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate earnings boost most Gulf markets; Egypt edges lower

Jan 17 2019

* Emirates NBD continues to gain on Q4 results * Air Arabia rises after lawsuit against Abraaj founder * Saudi's Samba Financial gains on FY results * National Commercial Bank rises on merger talk By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 17 Dubai's stock market rose on Thursday, buoyed by heavyweight constituents, with most Gulf markets lifted by corporate earnings announcements. The Dubai index added 0.6 percent as lender Emirates NBD rose by 1.1 percent and developer Emaar Properties advanced by 1.3 percent. Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, reported a 10 percent gain in fourth-quarter net profit after loan growth and improved margins offset higher expenses and a drop to investment securities income. Ajman Bank was up 3.5 percent after full-year profit jumped by 28 percent to 170 million dirhams ($46.3 million). Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 percent, helped by petrochemical and bank shares. Its biggest lender, National Commercial Bank (NCB), rose 0.8 percent in heavy trade. NCB is expected to pick JPMorgan to advise on merger talks with smaller rival Riyad Bank, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Riyad Bank added 0.1 percent. Samba Financial Group, Saudi's third-largest bank by assets, rose 2.2 percent after a 10 percent jump in 2018 net profit. Egypt's blue-chip index eased by 0.2 percent, with declines for 23 of its 30 stocks, mirroring a dip in emerging markets. EFG Hermes was down 2.3 percent and Eastern Co fell by 2.1 percent. In Qatar, blue-chips Qatar Gas Transport and Qatar Insurance rose 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, pushing the index up by 0.2 percent. Qatar National Bank lost 0.5 percent as investors booked profits after it announced a 5 percent jump in full-year net profirt on Tuesday. The Abu Dhabi index edged up by 0.1 percent as telecoms company Emirates Telecommunications Group added 0.4 percent and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah gained 2.2 percent. SAUDI The index rose 0.5 pct to ARABIA 8,448 points DUBAI The index gained 0.6 pct to 2,517 points QATAR The index inched up 0.2 pct to 10,788 points ABU DHABI The index was up 0.1 pct at 4,985 points EGYPT The index lost 0.2 percent to 13,483 points KUWAIT The index added 0.2 pct to 5,480 points OMAN The index fell 0.5 pct to 4,237 points BAHRAIN The index inched up 0.1 pct to 1,341 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks buoy Saudi market, DAMAC drags down Dubai

Jan 15 2019

* DAMAC Properties plunges on BofA downgrade * Saudi highest since July 2018 * All Saudi banks rise * Qatar trades at 22-month high By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 15 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Tuesday, as rebounding oil prices lifted all its banks, while the Dubai index was pulled down by a plunge in shares of DAMAC Properties. Saudi Arabia's index gained 0.9 percent to trade at a near six-month high, with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1.3 percent and the biggest lender National Commercial Bank climbing 1.4 percent. Riyad Bank rose 1.6 percent. The lender has picked Goldman Sachs to advise on its merger talks with National Commercial Bank, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Saudi International Petrochemical(Sipchem) fell 1.4 percent. It announced a scheduled maintenance turnaround for its International Diol Plant and said the financial impact of the shutdown will be reflected in its first-quarter results. In Dubai, the index lost 1.5 percent, weighed down by a 9.8 percent slide in developer DAMAC Properties after BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to 'underperform' from 'neutral'. Dubai financial markets continue to face downward pressure, largely coming from real estate companies along with normalization of some of the stocks that benefited from window dressing during the last week of 2018, Sanat Sachar, equity analyst for asset management at Dubai's Al Mal Capital said. DAMAC's stock on Tuesday experienced its heaviest trading volume since March 2018, with 8.6 million shares changing hands, 5.4 times their 30-day average. The downgrade resulted in huge selling by foreigners, Sachar said. BofA said in a research note it was also lowering its 2018 to 2020 earnings per share forecast on DAMAC by an average of 47 percent, citing expectations of weaker booked sales and gross margin. The company is likely to be pressured by a weak real estate market along with upcoming debt and land payments, BofA added. It also expects DAMAC to cut its dividend to 0.05 dirham per share from 0.15 dirham per share currently. Dubai's largest lender Emirates NBD declined 2.1 percent and the emirate's biggest developer Emaar Properties dropped 1.5 percent. The Egypt blue-chip index was up 0.8 percent with Commercial International Bank gaining 2.2 percent and Egyptian Resorts jumping 10 percent. Qatar's index rose 0.9 percent to touch its highest since March 2017 with 17 of its 20 stocks climbing. Industries Qatar added 2.4 percent and Qatar National Bank increased 1 percent. In Abu Dhabi, where the index fell 0.3 percent snapping a four-day winning streak, Aldar Properties was down 2 percent while United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank shed 0.7 percent. But Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 9.8 percent. The firm said by the end of 2018 its total investments had reached $30 billion held across 11 countries. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) SAUDI The index rose 0.9 pct to 8,347 points ARABIA DUBAI The index fell 1.5 pct to 2,491 points EGYPT The index rose 0.8 pct to 13,447 points QATAR The index was up 0.9 pct at 10,673 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.3 pct to 4,983 points KUWAIT The index was flat at 5,474 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.3 pct to 1,340 points OMAN The index was down 0.7 pct at 4,280 points (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar hits highest in nearly 2 years, financials lift most Gulf markets

Jan 10 2019

* Qatar index at its highest level since March 2017 * 14 of 20 stocks on Qatar index rise * Saudi's Al Khodari gains after plan to cut accumulated losses By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 10 The Qatar stock market hit its highest level in nearly two years on Thursday, as financial stocks boosted most major Gulf bourses ahead of corporate earnings announcements next week. Saudi's main index gained 0.8 percent, aided by a 1.6 percent rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 1.2 percent increase in Saudi Basic Industries. Contractor Al Khodari rose 1.7 percent after its board proposed to use its statutory reserve of 71 million riyals ($19 million) to reduce a part of its losses. The proposal seeks to cut accumulated losses to 202 million riyals from 273 million. Egypt's blue-chip index was flat, with El Sewedy Electric adding 2 percent and Commercial International Bank inching up 0.1 percent. Egypt's biggest listed lender said its board had approved a capital increase to 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.8 billion) from 20 billion pounds. Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation decreased to 12.0 percent in December from 15.7 pct in November, the official statistics agency CAPMAS said. Qatar's index rose 1.2 percent to hit its highest since March 2017, with 14 of its twenty stocks gaining. The index was boosted by financial shares, with Industries Qatar adding 2.9 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank increasing 1.3 percent. Qatar National Bank rose 0.8 percent. The largest bank by assets in the Middle East and Africa is raising a 2 billion euro ($2.3 billion) syndicated loan, according to LPC, a fixed income news service that is part of Refinitiv. The Abu Dhabi index inched up 0.2 percent, also boosted by financials. First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, added 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was up 0.6 percent. Dubai's index also gained 0.2 percent with Emirates NBD rising 0.6 percent and Ajman Bank increasing 2.6 percent. Growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector fell in December to its slowest rate since October 2016, a survey showed. The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers manufacturing and services, dropped to 54.0 in December from 55.8 in November. SAUDI The index rose 0.8 pct to ARABIA 8,210 points DUBAI The index edged up 0.2 pct to 2,546 points QATAR The index was up 1.2 pct at 10,658 points ABU DHABI The index added 0.2 pct to 4,962 points EGYPT The index was flat at 13,367 points KUWAIT The index jumped 1.2 pct to 5,453 points OMAN The index was flat at 4,311 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.3 pct to 1,342 points ($1 = 0.8672 euros) ($1 = 3.7508 riyals) ($1 = 17.8900 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil lifts Saudi to 5-month high, most Gulf markets up

Jan 09 2019

* Al Ahsa Development gains after stake purchase * Commercial International pulls down Egypt * Property stocks boost Dubai By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Ateeq Shariff Jan 9 Saudi Arabia's stock market climbed to a five month high on Wednesday, while most major Gulf markets also gained as oil prices rose 2 percent on optimism over U.S.-Chinese trade talks. Both crude price benchmarks added to Tuesday's gains and have now been on the rise for eight straight days - their longest rally since June 2017. The Saudi index rose 1.1 percent, helped by bank and petrochemical stocks. Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries added 1.5 percent and Al Rajhi Bank was up 1.4 percent. Al Ahsa Development gained 2 percent after signing an agreement to buy a 25 percent stake in Twareat Medical Center for 15 million riyals ($4 million). Qatar's index was up 0.7 percent, lifted by gains in Qatar Islamic Bank and Industries Qatar, which rose 1.8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. The Egyptian blue-chip index edged down 0.3 percent, pressured by its biggest listed lender, Commercial International Bank, which slid 2.1 percent. Commercial International has the biggest weighting in the index. The Dubai index climbed 0.4 percent, aided by property shares. The emirate's largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, added 2 percent and Dubai Investments rose 0.8 percent. Dubai's weak real estate market was a big drag for property stocks last year. The downturn is forcing construction and engineering firms to cut jobs and halt expansion plans, raising risks for the wider economy. Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.5 percent, with the region's largest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, rising 0.8 percent, and Emirates Telecommunications edging up 0.4 percent. SAUDI The index rose 1.1 pct to 8,147 ARABIA points DUBAI The index gained 0.4 pct to 2,540 points QATAR The index was up 0.7 pct at 10,535 points ABU DHABI The index added 0.5 pct to 4,953 points EGYPT The index slid 0.3 pct to 13,366 points KUWAIT The index lost 0.3 pct to 5,387 points OMAN The index was flat at 4,311 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.5 pct to 1,338 points ($1 = 3.7508 riyals) (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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