* Saudi trading volume lowest in two months
* Two pipe companies surge on orders from Saudi Aramco
* Dubai market trades in narrow range, low volume
* Masraf Al Rayan stalls in Qatar
* Egypt's Orascom Telecom rebounds on divestment news
By Andrew Torchia
DUBAI, Dec 21 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose
on Wednesday on the eve of the government's release of its 2017
budget, and Egypt's extended a bull run fuelled by foreign money
and last month's float of the Egyptian pound.
The Saudi stock index climbed 0.4 percent, though
trading volume shrank to its lowest level in two months as many
investors became cautious before the budget announcement.
Sources familiar with budget planning told Reuters the
government would reveal substantial progress in cutting the
budget deficit from a record high in 2015, and that state
spending would be raised to support economic growth. Domestic
energy prices are expected to be increased to ease the
government's subsidy burden.
Arabian Pipes jumped 3.7 percent after saying it
won a 72 million riyal ($19.2 million) order to supply oil giant
Saudi Aramco, and Saudi Steel Pipes added 5.5 percent
after reporting a similar order.
Arab National Bank fell 0.9 percent after
proposing a cash dividend of 0.45 riyal per share for the second
half of 2016, lower than last year. Alinma Bank edged
up 0.3 percent after keeping its 2016 dividend unchanged.
In Dubai, the index also rose 0.4 percent in thin
trade as real estate blue chip Emaar Properties added
A 2.6 percent drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
pulled Abu Dhabi's index down 0.3 percent while Qatar's
index was little changed.
Cairo's index, which surged 3.4 percent on Tuesday
to a record high, climbed a further 1.8 percent in heavy volume.
Foreign investors remained net buyers of stocks by a small
margin, bourse data showed.
Orascom Telecom, beaten down in recent weeks by
news of the departure of Naguib Sawiris as managing director,
gained 7.1 percent after saying it sold its unit Middle East and
North Africa Co Submarine Cable Systems for $90 million to an
Proceeds are to be used to invest in the financial, real
estate and logistics sectors, which the government is targeting
for expansion under an economic reform programme . Orascom was
the market's most heavily traded stock on Wednesday.
Palm Hills Development climbed 2.2 percent after
saying it had agreed with Sarwa Capital, Arab African
International Bank and Banque Misr to launch a securitised bond
based on its receivables.
* The index climbed 0.4 percent to 7,057 points.
* The index rose 0.4 percent to 3,520 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 4,467 points.
* The index edged down 0.02 percent to 10,392 points.
* The index gained 1.8 percent to 12,367 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,672 points.
* The index rose 0.2 percent to 5,728 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 1,193 points.
(editing by John Stonestreet)