Edition:
United States

Ateeq Shariff

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials, property elevate Dubai, most of Gulf up

May 22 2019

* All real estate firms gain in Dubai * Saudi's Arabian Centres slides in market debut * Lender FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi * El Sewedy continues to gain on new firm establishment By Ateeq Shariff May 22 Dubai's stock market rose sharply on Wednesday, buoyed by financial and real estate shares, to lead gains in most major Gulf bourses. Dubai's index closed 1.8% higher with all its real estate shares gaining. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties added 2.6% and market heavyweight lender Emirates NBD was up 2.8%. Locals and foreigners bought selectively on the Dubai Financial Market, especially in the real estate and construction space, said Harsh Oza, vice president for research at Shuaa Capital. "The sector has underperformed the broader market over the past one month. The newly announced residency visa initiative by UAE seems to be the factor behind the real estate stock rally," he added. The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that it will grant 6,800 foreign investors permanent residency under a new "Golden Card" system after they invested a combined 100 billion dirhams ($27.23 billion) in the Gulf state. Arabtec Holding continued rebounding and jumped 5.6% after on Tuesday it snapped four straight sessions of losses on weak first-quarter earnings. Saudi's index increased 0.5%. Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development soared 7.9% and Sahara International Petrochemical surged 5.6%, extending its gains from Tuesday when it completed the merger of equals with Sahara Petrochemical, which delisted on May 20. However, Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres fell 3.9% to 25 riyals from its initial public offer price of 26 riyals. Arabian Centres' share sale, which raised 2.47 billion riyals ($658.65 million), was the kingdom's third biggest since Saudi lender National Commercial Bank raised $6 billion in 2014, according to Refinitiv data. Qatar's index gained 0.6% with blue-chip petrochemical maker Industries Qatar trading 1.4% higher. Gulf International Services hiked 5.1% after its unit Al Koot Insurance And Reinsurance signed a two-year deal with Qatar Airways to provide health care services. The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.7% led by a 1.7% drop in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender. The lender has mostly fallen in recent sessions after MSCI decided to maintain its foreign inclusion factor at 25%, despite a recent foreign ownership limit increase to 40% from 25%. Egypt's blue-chip index inched up 0.4% as Egypt Kuwait Holding rose 3.9%. Last week, the firm reported a higher first-quarter profit. El Sewedy Electric hiked 2.4% after saying on Tuesday it had partnered with General Authority For Suez Canal Economic Zone to establish a new company with issued capital of 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($59.17 million), in which the firm will own 49%. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.5% to 8,656 points ABU DHABI The index fell 0.7% to 4,750 points DUBAI The index added 1.8% to 2,584 points QATAR The index gained 0.6% to 9,758 points EGYPT The index was up 0.4% at 13,664 points BAHRAIN The index edged up 0.1% to 1,411 points OMAN The index closed 0.5% higher to 3,861 points KUWAIT The index increased 0.1% to 6,063 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 16.9000 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Global rally lifts most of Gulf, blue-chips drag Qatar

May 21 2019

* 11 of 12 Saudi banks rise * Dubai's National Cement gains on asset purchase * Dana Gas surges on drilling commencement * Qatar's Mesaieed ends six days of gains * El Sewedy jumps on new firm establishment By Ateeq Shariff May 21 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply on Tuesday, leading gains in most major Gulf bourses amid a global rally after Washington temporarily eased trade restrictions imposed last week on China's Huawei. Qatar dropped on wide sell-off. Saudi's index increased 1.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank adding 2.2% and Saudi Basic Industries up 3.3%. "Middle East today is following the positive lead from Global markets. Local sentiment is also better as evidenced by the strong moves in small cap stocks," said Vrajesh Bhandari senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. "We expect Saudi Arabia to continue its upward trend until at least the MSCI effective date May 28," added Vrajesh. "Thereafter, investors need to be selective & follow a bottom up approach. Overall, we find better value in UAE & Egypt." MSCI last week said it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index, effective May 28, a move that could draw billions of dollars into the market. Saudi International Petrochemical closed 3.4% higher. The firm completed the merger of equals with Sahara Petrochemical, which delisted on May 20. Qatar's index was down 2%, with 17 of its 20 stocks sliding. Middle East's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, dropped 2.4%, while Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding plunged 10%, snapping a six-day winning streak triggered by the stock inclusion in MSCI's index. Egypt's blue-chip index, gained 1.7% as most of its stocks rose, with Market heavyweight Commercial International Bank gaining 0.9%. El Sewedy Electric jumped 5.9% after it partnered with General Authority For Suez Canal Economic Zone to establish a new company with issued capital of 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($58.82 million), in which the firm will own 49%. Abu Dhabi's index closed 1.1% higher, led by a 1.3% increase in the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank . Dana Gas jumped 4.1% after the energy firm said it had started drilling operations at Merak-1 well, offshore Egypt. National Marine Dredging soared 13.9% after last week reporting a higher first-quarter earnings. The Dubai index rose 1% as all but one of its real estate stocks rose. Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed-developer, increased 2.9% while its units Emaar Malls and Emaar Development were up 2.3 and 3% respectively. The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that it will grant 6,800 foreign investors permanent residency under a new "Golden Card" system after they invested a combined 100 billion dirhams ($27.23 billion) in the Gulf state. National Cement Company was up 1.7% after news it had bought ARM Cement's Kenyan assets for $50 million. Arabtec Holding rebounded 2.1%, snapping four straight sessions of losses on weak first-quarter earnings. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 1.7% at 8,609 points ABU DHABI The index was up 1.1% at 4,782 points DUBAI The index added 1% to 2,539 points QATAR The index lost 2% to 9,701 points EGYPT The index was up 1.7% at 13,614 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.9% to 1,409 points OMAN The index slid 0.1% to 3,842 points KUWAIT The index increased 0.9% to 6,058 points ($1 = 3.7500 riyals) ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) ($1 = 17.0000 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks propel Saudi, lender FAB drags Abu Dhabi

May 16 2019

* 11 of 12 Saudi banks rise * SABB, Alawwal gain on shareholders' nod for merger * FAB continues to slide on MSCI decision * All but one real estate shares fall in Dubai * Qatar's Mesaieed extends gains on MSCI inclusion By Ateeq Shariff May 16 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose for a third straight session on Thursday, rebounding from recent sell-offs and ahead of MSCI inclusion later this month. Abu Dhabi was pressured by its top-lender. On Monday, MSCI said that it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging-markets index, effective May 28, a move that could draw billions of dollars into the market. MSCI said 30 Saudi Arabian securities would be added, representing an aggregate weight of 1.42% in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The Saudi index was up 1.7% with Al Rajhi Bank adding 2.5%, while Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.3%. Saudi Telecom jumped 5.1% after HSBC raised its target price. The three stocks are the largest additions to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index measured by full company market capitalization. Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank added 1.6% and 2.3% respectively after their shareholders approved a planned merger. The Abu Dhabi index slid for the fourth straight session, down 1.2%, with Emirates Telecommunications Group shedding 1.7%. First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, shed 2.1%. The lender fell in recent sessions after MSCI decided to maintain its foreign inclusion factor at 25%, despite recent foreign ownership limit increase to 40% from 25%. The bank said on Thursday that it was seeking clarification from MSCI on limiting its free float at 25% and added that MSCI's decision was subjective and didn't match publicly available disclosures. Egypt's blue-chip index, lost 1% with Commercial International Bank falling 1% and Juhayna Food Industries slumping 9.7%. In Dubai, the index dipped 0.3%, weighed down by its real estate stocks. Contractor Arabtec Holding plunged 7%. On Wednesday, the firm reported a 50% drop in its first-quarter profit. Union Properties shed 2.8% after reporting a plunge in its first-quarter profit. Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurt by weaker oil prices and muted sales. Qatar's index edged up 0.1% with Mesaieed Petrochemical gaining 2.9%. The stock has been rising since it was added to the MSCI index earlier this week. But a few banks dropped, with Qatar International Islamic Bank closing 1.7% lower. Qatari banks face growing pressure from high exposure to the country's sluggish real estate market, hit by oversupply tied to preparations for its 2022 World Cup, ratings agency Fitch said. ​ SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 1.7% at 8,622 points ABU DHABI The index dropped 1.2% to 4,719 points DUBAI The index fell 0.3% to 2,575 points QATAR The index edged up 0.1% to 9,872 points EGYPT The index declined 1% to 13,660 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.6% to 1,400 points OMAN The index rose 0.8% to 3,859 points KUWAIT The index rose 1.6% to 6,108 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia up on banks, weak earnings hurt Dubai

May 15 2019

* All Saudi banks gain on MSCI inclusion * DAMAC Properties hits life-time low * Arabtec, Aldar decline on weak Q1 results * 26 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall * Mesaieed highest since June 2015 By Ateeq Shariff May 15 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose moderately on Wednesday, lifted by its banking shares following index provider MSCI's decision to include multiple lenders, while Dubai was pressured by a string of disappointing corporate earnings. Saudi Arabia's index increased 1.3% with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 2.1% and Alinma Bank rising 2.6%, while National Commercial Bank was up 0.9%. "The 10% to 15% correction in large caps especially the top banks made them look pretty reasonable in terms of valuations," said Vrajesh Bhandari portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. "And therefore, we are seeing interest in these names before the MSCI inclusion gets effected later this month (potentially) driving in $7 billion to the market. Having said that, investors need to have a close eye on geo-political factors." The index fell as much as 2.1% on Tuesday after drone attacks but recovered to close 0.1% higher. Saudi Arabia said drones had struck oil pumping stations two days after its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. "With rising tensions between Iran and the U.S., and with significant naval build-up in the region, markets are sensitive to news and can be tipped by the smallest signs of a conflict," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive officer of Sun Global Investments. In Dubai, the index closed 1.1% lower with real estate firm Emaar Properties dropping 2.3%. Arabtec Holding plunged 7%, its biggest intraday loss since mid-November, as its first-quarter profit halved to 31.8 million dirhams ($8.66 million) from 63.6 million dirhams the year before. DAMAC Properties lost 2.9% after it posted a 94% drop in its first-quarter net profit. A slump in the Dubai property market hurt the company, which reported its smallest net profit since going public in 2015. Amusement park operator DXB Entertainment declined 5.1% on a wider first-quarter loss. Its aim to reach an EBITDA break-even by the second half of 2020 was challenging, considering weak first-quarter revenue growth and footfall, Arqaam Capital said in a note. Egypt's blue-chip index, declined 1.5% with El Sewedy Electric shedding 3.5% and Eastern Company was down 1.5%. The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.5%, led by a 0.6% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). Index provider MSCI decided against increasing FAB's foreign inclusion factor, despite the lender raising its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%. Aldar Properties dipped 2.3% after the realtor reported a drop in its first-quarter profit. Qatar's blue chip index added 0.7% with Mesaieed Petrochemical soaring 9.5%, to reach its highest in nearly four years. On Tueday, MSCI included Mesaieed and Qatar Fuel in the index review. Qatar Fuel was down 0.2%. SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 1.3% at 8,481 points ABU DHABI The index dropped 0.5% to 4,778 points DUBAI The index fell 1.1% to 2,584 points QATAR The index added 0.7% to 9,864 points EGYPT The index declined 1.5% to 13,809 points BAHRAIN The index was flat at 1,409 points OMAN The index was also flat at 3,828 points KUWAIT The index rose 0.2% to 6,011 points ($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai Investments weighs on Dubai index, banks lift Saudi

Apr 25 2019

* Dubai Investments slumps after trading ex-dividend * Takaful Emarat slides on acquisition withdrawal * Riyad Bank continues to gain on strong Q1 results * Industries Qatar slides for third session By Ateeq Shariff April 25 Dubai's stock market fell on Thursday, pressured by Dubai Investments trading ex-dividend, while banks lifted the Saudi index. Dubai's index dropped 0.5 percent, with Dubai Investments plunging 9.8 percent to its biggest one-day loss since August 2015, as the stock went ex-dividend. Takaful Emarat Insurance was down 1.3 percent after it said it will no longer proceed with the proposed acquisition of Al Hilal Takaful. Dubai Entertainment inched up 0.4 percent after shareholders voted to discontinue its Six Flags theme park project and approved a plan for business continuity. The Saudi index rose 0.4 percent, with Riyad Bank climbing 4.5 percent to its highest level since May 2006. On Monday, the lender posted a 22 percent rise in first-quarter profit driven by higher special commission income and fees. Alawwal Bank gained 2 percent. The lender called for a shareholder meeting on May 15 to approve a merger offer from Saudi British Bank. Saudi British Bank was up 1.3 percent. Qatar's blue-chip index edged down 0.1 percent as market heavyweight Industries Qatar closed 0.8 percent lower for the third straight session. On Monday, the company posted first-quarter net profit that almost halved, pressured by weak demand for its products and constraints on pricing. United Development Company lost 1.6 percent after reporting a lower first-quarter net profit. The Abu Dhabi index dipped 0.1 percent, as energy company Dana Gas fell 6.6 percent after the stock went ex-dividend. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange said Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) will start trading on May 1 after its merger with Union National Bank (UNB), while UNB will cease trading post April 30. ADCB was up 0.8 percent and UNB added 1.6 percent. The Egyptian stock market was closed for a public holiday. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.4 pct to 9,276 points ABU DHABI The index was down 0.1 pct to 5,392 points DUBAI The index lost 0.5 pct to 2,787 points QATAR The index fell 0.1 pct to 10,451 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.3 pct to 1,442 points OMAN The index slipped 0.3 pct to 3,940 points KUWAIT The index dropped 0.5 pct to 6,137 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar gain on financials; cement makers lift Saudi

Apr 24 2019

* Egypt Kuwait Holding rebounds after trading ex-dividend * Al Moammar jumps above offer price in debut * Abu Dhabi snaps five-days of gains * Emirates Integrated slides on Q1 result By Ateeq Shariff April 24 Egypt's blue-chip index and the Qatar stock market rose modestly on Wednesday, buoyed by their financial shares, while the Saudi index edged up on the back of its cement producers. The Egyptian index rose 0.9 percent, after its largest lender Commercial International Bank increased 0.6 percent and Egypt Kuwait Holding rebounded 3.7 percent after trading ex-dividend on Tuesday. Eastern Company inched up 0.1 percent. On Monday, HC Research raised its rating on the cigarette maker to 'neutral' from 'underweight'. "We remain positive on Egypt. Supported by broad reforms and with multiple catalysts ahead (stable or falling interest rates, continued recovery in tourism, increased gas output), Egypt markets have the potential to deliver healthy returns," Al Mal Capital said in a note. Qatar's blue-chip index closed 0.7 percent higher with Qatar National Bank adding 2.8 percent and Commercial Bank gaining 3.3 percent to its highest level since October 2015. Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) was up 1.4 percent, extending its gains for the fifth session. On Sunday, the transport firm reported a 9 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit. Saudi's index was up 0.1 percent, helped by its cement companies. Al Jouf Cement added 0.8 percent after signing a memorandum of understanding to convert its second production line to produce white cement. Qassim Cement was the top percentage gainer on the index, rising 6.5 percent. The firm reported a drop in first-quarter profit, but posted a 3.7 percent gain in its sales and proposed a divided of 0.60 riyal per share. Al Moammar Information Systems rose 4.9 pct to 47.20 riyals on its first day of trading, above its offer price of 45 riyals per share. The Abu Dhabi index retreated 0.2 percent, snapping five-days of gains, after the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank slid 0.7 percent. Dubai's index lost 0.3 percent, with Emaar Properties sliding 2 percent and its unit Emaar Malls shedding 1.7 percent. Emaar Malls' shareholders approved cancellation of the constitutive regulation of its employees' incentive programme. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du) declined 1.4 percent. The telecom operator reported a 12 percent drop in its first-quarter profit. SAUDI ARABIA The index <.TASI. was up 0.1 pct at 9,238 points ABU DHABI The index fell 0.2 pct to 5,395 points DUBAI The index lost 0.3 pct to 2,803 points QATAR The index added 0.7 pct to 10,458 points EGYPT The index rose 0.9 pct to 14,770 points BAHRAIN The index was flat at 1,438 points OMAN The index slipped 0.2 pct to 3,950 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.4 pct at 6,170 points ($1 = 3.7500 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings aid Saudi, real estate hurts Egypt

Apr 23 2019

* Riyad Bank hits 13-year high on Q1 earnings * Saudi British Bank, Alawwal Bank gain on CMA nod * Egypt Kuwait Holding slides on going ex-dividend * Industries Qatar slides on weak Q1 profit By Ateeq Shariff April 23 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Tuesday, lifted by a slew of corporate announcements, while Egypt's blue-chip index was pulled down by its real estate shares. Saudi Arabia's index added 0.4 percent, with Riyad Bank climbing 3.6 percent to reach its highest since May 2006. The lender posted a 44.7 percent increase in first quarter net profit. Saudi British Bank rose 1.3 percent after the Capital Market Authority approved a request to increase its capital to 20.55 billion riyals ($5.48 billion) from 15 billion riyals. The lender will issue 554.8 million shares to Alawwal Bank as part of a merger deal. Alawwal Bank was up 2.3 percent. Last month, the companies received regulatory approval to proceed with a merger. Saudi Arabia Fertilizers increased 3.2 percent after the firm posted higher first quarter profit, helped by lower costs. On Monday, the Saudi exchange announced the listing of Al Moammar Information Systems from Wednesday. The exchange is offering 4.8 million shares of the company at a price of 45 riyals per share. The Egyptian index dropped 1.1 percent, dragged down by real estate stocks, while stock exchange data showed that foreigners were net sellers of stocks during the session. Egypt Kuwait Holding slipped 2.5 percent as the stock traded ex-dividend and Oriental Weavers Carpet declined a further 7 percent after going ex-dividend on Monday. Pioneers Holding Co fell 2 percent. The firm and its related groups increased their stake in Electro Cable Egypt to around 68.1 percent from 48.5 percent. Dubai's main index closed 0.4 percent lower, led by a 2.2 percent drop in its largest listed developer Emaar Properties and a 1.3 percent fall in Emirates NBD Bank . But Dubai Islamic Bank was up 1.2 percent after posting a rise in its first quarter net profit. The sharia-compliant lender also received approval from its board to explore the possible acquisition of unlisted Noor Bank. The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.3 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.7 percent. The lender has risen in the last few sessions after it obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent. Qatar's blue-chip index slid 0.2 percent with market heavyweight Industries Qatar falling 3.1 percent after the firm's first quarter net profit almost halved, pressured by weak demand for its products and constraints on pricing. SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.4 pct at 9,228 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.3 pct to 5,405 points DUBAI The index fell 0.4 pct to 2,811 points QATAR The index lost 0.2 pct to 10,382 points EGYPT The index dropped 1.1 pct to 14,646 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.3 pct to 1,438 points OMAN The index slipped 0.5 pct to 3,958 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.4 pct at 6,146 points ($1 = 3.7500 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Lender FAB leads Abu Dhabi higher, petchems weigh on Saudi

Apr 22 2019

* Abu Dhai's National Marine soars on higher dividend * Saudi's Kayan slides on Q1 loss * Qatar's GISS gains after unit signs contract * Oriental Weavers plunges on going ex-dividend By Ateeq Shariff April 22 Abu Dhabi's stock market closed higher for the fourth straight session on Monday, aided by its largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank, while petrochemical stocks pulled the Saudi market down. The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent, led by a 1.8 percent increase in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). The lender has been rising in recent sessions after it obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) rose 1.1 percent. On Sunday its chief executive Alaa Eraiqat was appointed chairman of Al Hilal Bank, with which ADCB is expected to merge, along with Union National Bank, in the first half of 2019. National Marine Dredging surged 11.1 percent after the shareholders approved an increase in its cash dividend to 25 percent from the 22 percent that board had proposed. Saudi Arabia's main index fell 0.5 percent as most of its petrochemical stocks slid, with sector leader Saudi Basic Industries shedding 0.8 percent. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical plunged 5.4 percent after it swung to a first-quarter loss from a profit last year. Arqaam Capital said in a note that it expects petrochemical companies' net profit to see sharp declines year-over-year on lower petrochemical prices However, their bottom line is expected to improve quarter-over-quarter as the last quarter was impacted by inventory writedowns and seasonally higher costs. Qatar's blue-chip index added 0.4 percent as its financial stocks rose. Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, rose 2.2 percent, while Gulf International Services closed up 1.9 percent after its Gulf Drilling International unit signed a 3-year contract with oil field developer North Oil. Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.3 percent, dragged lower by Oriental Weavers Carpet Co dropping 14.6 percent, to its biggest single-day loss since April 2009, as the stock traded ex-dividend. Dubai's main index traded flat, with its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining 1 percent. Dubai's economy is expected to grow 2.1 percent in 2019, according to a government forecast, up from 1.94 percent in 2018, which was its slowest pace since a 2009 contraction. Kuwait's index fell 1.3 percent, with Kuwait Finance House declining 1.9 percent, while Kuwait Projects dropped 4.4 percent as the stock traded ex-dividend. SAUDI ARABIA The index was down 0.5 pct at 9,195 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.8 pct to 5,386 points DUBAI The index was flat at 2,821 points QATAR The index was up 0.4 pct at 10,401 points EGYPT The index dropped 0.3 pct to 14,801 points BAHRAIN The index fell 0.3 pct to 1,443 points OMAN The index slipped 0.2 pct to 3,979 points KUWAIT The index was down 1.3 pct at 6,169 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends 10-day rally, most Gulf markets little changed

Apr 11 2019

* FAB continues to slide after Qatar's lawsuit * Saudi's Tasnee gains after Cristal-Tronox deal completion * ADNOC Distribution drops on going ex-dividend * Qatar National Bank falls after Q1 results By Ateeq Shariff April 11 Dubai's stock market slid on Thursday as most of its financial shares dropped, snapping a 10-day winning streak, while other major Gulf markets were little changed. The Dubai index fell 0.6 percent, led by a 1.7 percent fall in Emirates NBD, ahead of its board meeting scheduled on April 16 to approve its first-quarter financial statement. On Wednesday, the lender said it would receive 554.5 million pounds ($725.6 million) from the sale of a stake in Network International through a secondary listing of the shares in London. Emirates NBD sold 127.5 million shares in the payment processor, reducing its stake to 25.5 percent. Mashreq Bank dropped 6.8 percent. Last week, the bank's retail head said the bank would close 12 branches as it makes a shift towards online banking. Qatar's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent, with Qatar Islamic Bank increasing 2.5 percent to its highest level in over a decade. Qatar National Bank dipped 0.6 percent. The lender reported its first-quarter results on Tuesday, missing EFG Hermes' forecast. The Abu Dhabi index closed 0.1 percent lower, as First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) fell 0.7 percent. United Arab Emirate's largest lender, FAB, was among the three banks against which Qatar filed lawsuits on Monday, accusing them of overseas currency manipulation that caused billions of dollars of damage to the Gulf state's economy. During after-hours trading, FAB said it had received regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25. ADNOC Distribution dropped 3.2 percent as the stock traded ex-dividend. Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.1 percent, with Jareer Marketing gaining 3.2 percent. National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) was up 2.8 percent, to its highest since August 2018. Tasnee said that its unit Cristal had completed the sale of its titanium dioxide business to Tronox Holdings. Cristal will receive a cash consideration of $1.67 billion and a 24 percent equity stake in Tronox. The Egyptian index traded flat with Egypt Kuwait Holding declining 4.8 percent. SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.1 pct to 9,088 points ABU DHABI The index slipped 0.1 pct to 5,052 points DUBAI The index fell 0.6 pct to 2,790 points QATAR The index added 0.2 pct to 10,259 points EGYPT The index was flat at 15,106 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.3 pct to 1,438 points KUWAIT The index gained 0.2 pct to 6,126 points ($1 = 0.7642 pounds) ($1 = 3.6405 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai nears 5-month high, most major Gulf markets rise

Apr 10 2019

* Saudi Basic Industries drops after going ex-dividend * Nine of 10 Saudi banks gain * National Agriculture Marketing up on capital increase plan * Qatar's lawsuit pulls down FAB By Ateeq Shariff April 10 Dubai's stock market rose for the tenth straight session on Wednesday, lifted by its financial shares, while Abu Dhabi was pulled lower by its top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank. The Dubai index gained 0.2 percent, hovering around five-month high, with Emaar Properties adding 1.2 percent and Mashreq Bank jumping 5.3 percent. This month, the latter's retail banking head said it would close 12 of its branches by June as it shifts some of its business online. Emirates NBD said it would sell 127.5 million shares in Network International for a total of 554.5 million pounds ($725.2 million) through a secondary listing of the shares on the London Stock Exchange. The bank continues to hold a 25.5 percent stake in the payments processor. The stock was flat. Saudi Arabia's index increased 0.3 percent, with most of its banking shares gaining. Riyad Bank was up 2.2 percent and Al Jazira Bank increased 1.3 percent. National Agriculture Marketing Company jumped 6.8 percent. Its board proposed a rights issue to raise 150 million riyals ($40 million). On Wednesday, the company was fined 20,000 riyals by the Capital Markets Authority for a regulatory rule violation. But market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.4 percent as it traded ex-dividend. The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.4 percent, led by 1.1 percent fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and 1.6 percent slide in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Last week, the banks denied they were in merger talks after a news report said the emirate was considering combining them. On Monday, Qatar filed lawsuits against three banks including First Abu Dhabi Bank, accusing the trio of overseas currency manipulation which caused billions of dollars of damage to Qatar's economy. Qatar's blue-chip index edged up 0.2 percent, lifted by a 1.9 percent gain in its largest sharia-compliant lender Qatar Islamic Bank. The Egyptian index moved 0.1 percent higher, partly on back of its blue-chip stock Talaat Mostafa Group Holding . The realtor was up 1.2 percent. SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.3 pct to 9,077 points ABU DHABI The index fell 0.4 pct to 5,058 points DUBAI The index was up 0.2 pct at 2,808 points QATAR The index added 0.2 pct to 10,236 points EGYPT The index edged up 0.1 pct to 15,107 points BAHRAIN The index increased 0.1 pct to 1,443 points OMAN The index rose 0.3 pct to 3,984 points KUWAIT The index gained 0.2 pct to 6,117 points ($1 = 0.7646 pounds) ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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