* Dubai's Shuaa, GFH fall back after surge on M&A hopes
* Air Arabia tumbles as it goes ex-dividend
* Strong demand for Kuwait's debut foreign bond
* Commercial Bank of Qatar rises in heavy trade
* Telecom Egypt continues slide on Q4 loss
By Andrew Torchia
DUBAI, March 14 Gulf stock markets were mixed on
Tuesday with a retreat by Shuaa Capital helping to
dampen Dubai while the success of the Kuwait government's debut
international bond issue buoyed that market.
The Dubai index fell 0.9 percent as Shuaa dropped
4.2 percent. It had risen more than 18 percent to a seven-year
high in the previous two days on speculation that it might merge
with Bahrain's GFH Financial.
During late trade on Tuesday, GFH confirmed that
speculation, saying it had been discussing potential
acquisitions of mergers with several financial institutions
including Shuaa, and that no final decision had been made yet.
Tuesday's pull-back in Shuaa's stock suggested some
investors were now wondering whether the financial terms of a
merger would benefit Shuaa shareholders. GFH's Dubai-listed
shares, which had jumped 7 percent on Monday, closed
0.7 percent lower.
Air Arabia plunged 6.7 percent as it went
ex-dividend. Separately, the head of the International Air
Transport Association said that the profitability of airlines in
the United Arab Emirates was expected to fall this year because
of high seat capacity relative to demand.
The Saudi Arabian index was almost flat. Saudi
Arabia Refineries sank 3.5 percent after it
reported a full-year loss of 4.0 million riyals ($1.1 million).
Qatar's index lost 0.5 percent with United
Development tumbling 7.1 percent as it went
ex-dividend. But Commercial Bank of Qatar, the most
heavily traded stock, rose 2.5 percent.
Kuwait's index gained 1.2 percent after the
government successfully sold $8 billion of debt in its debut
international bond issue, with orders for the issue totalling
$29 billion - a sign of investor confidence in the country.
The Egyptian index fell 1.1 percent as Telecom
Egypt dropped a further 3.7 percent. On Monday, it
sank 3.1 percent after swinging to a fourth-quarter net loss of
513 million Egyptian pounds ($29 million), compared with a net
profit of 868 million pounds in the prior-year period.
* The index edged up 0.04 percent to 6,791 points.
* The index fell 0.9 percent to 3,469 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,388 points.
* The index dropped 0.5 percent to 10,314 points.
* The index climbed 1.2 percent to 6,790 points.
* The index fell 1.1 percent to 12,790 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 5,698 points.
* The index rose 0.3 percent to 1,375 points.
(Editing by Richard Lough)