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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar hit new highs, UAE markets retreat
September 4, 2014 / 2:08 PM / 3 years ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar hit new highs, UAE markets retreat

* Telecom Egypt rises on new unified licence

* Developer TMG up after case against firm suspended

* QNB, Industries Qatar lift Doha index

* Dubai, Abu Dhabi pull back after strong week

* Saudi’s Advanced Petrochemical up on dividend, new project

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Egypt’s bourse hit a fresh six-year closing high on the back of Telecom Egypt on Thursday, while Qatar National Bank lifted the Doha bourse to a new all-time high. Markets in the United Arab Emirates pulled back.

The Cairo index rose 0.2 percent to 9,650 points as fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt surged 5.8 percent after the government approved a long-awaited plan to issue a unified landline and mobile telecommunications licence.

The new licence could allow Telecom Egypt to start reclaiming its market share, which has been dented by mobile operators.

Another major support for the benchmark was property developer Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), which rose 2.7 percent. Egypt’s administrative court suspended on Wednesday the annulment of the allocation of 3 million square metres of land to TMG’s subsidiary in the Red Sea resort of Ain Sokhna, state-run newspaper Al Ahram reported.

Qatar’s index rose 1.1 percent to a new all-time closing high of 13,986 points. It also reached a new intra-day peak of 14,039 points, but failed to hold above the psychologically important 14,000-point level.

Qatar National Bank (QNB) jumped 2.6 percent and was the main support. QNB and Industries Qatar, which added 1.1 percent, will attract most fresh fund inflows if index compiler MSCI decides to lift Qatar’s weighting in its emerging market index during a scheduled review in November.

“Much of the fresh money coming into the market is foreign,” said Akber Khan, director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha.

Investors are attracted by Qatar’s “extremely high dividend yield” and the fact its population has been growing rapidly, which is driving local service-focused companies. “That, combined with enormous infrastructure spend expected over the next decade, underpins earnings for a large proportion of listed companies,” Khan said.

UAE, SAUDI

Dubai’s bourse fell 1.0 percent after hitting resistance near its June high of 5,192 points.

Heavyweight developer Emaar Properties slid 1.3 percent. The stock had surged 12.7 percent earlier this week after the firm said it would float its malls in September, a move that will reward Emaar shareholders with priority allotment and a special dividend.

“Spinning off...will most likely raise the value of the Emaar Malls Group and if it is a success it could be the start of other Emaar operations also listing separately to maximise their valuations,” Sachin Mohindra, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Invest AD Asset Management, said in a note.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark slid 0.8 percent as that emirate’s blue-chip banks were mixed. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.8 percent, while First Gulf Bank fell 2.4 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s main index edged up 0.07 percent. Advanced Petrochemical Co was the main support, surging 9.7 percent.

The company on Thursday announced an interim dividend payment of 1.0 riyal per share for its third quarter and said it would invest in a project worth around $1 billion to produce propylene in South Korea.

THURSDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

EGYPT

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 9,650 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 1.1 percent to 13,986 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 1.0 percent to 5,121 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index slid 0.8 percent to 5,141 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 11,069 points.

KUWAIT

* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,454 points.

OMAN

* The index gained 0.5 percent to 7,479 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.1 percent to 1,472 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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