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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf starts week on strong footing, Egypt slips back
August 7, 2016 / 2:06 PM / in a year

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf starts week on strong footing, Egypt slips back

* Dubai, Qatar outperform after global bourses rise

* Small and mid-cap shares support Abu Dhabi

* Petrochemical sector boosts Saudi

* Nama Chemicals surges after rights issue news

* Egyptian blue chips slip but some stocks rise sharply

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Strength in international equities markets at the end of last week helped lift share prices in the Gulf on Sunday with markets most exposed to foreign capital inflows outperforming, while Egypt slipped on profit-taking.

Dubai's index climbed 1.1 percent. Four-fifths of the traded shares advanced, with companies which have not yet reported quarterly earnings attracting the most volume. Builder Arabtec climbed 3.4 percent and amusement park developer Dubai Parks and Resorts added 1.7 percent.

Blue chips helped push Qatar's index up 1.0 percent with Vodafone Qatar advancing 2.4 percent. Pertrochemical conglomerate Industries Qatar, which reported strong earnings late last week, jumped 3.9 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.4 percent as local traders bought small and mid-cap stocks. Insurer Methaq Takaful Insurance jumped 8.1 percent in heavy trade and Abu Dhabi National Energy rose 2.0 percent.

In Saudi Arabia the equities index rose 0.7 percent as all 14 petrochemical stocks advanced; heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries added 0.6 percent.

Nama Chemicals, a small petrochemical producer, added 3.3 percent after it announced its board had recommended a 30 percent share capital increase through a rights issue valued at 400 million riyals ($106.7 million). The company said proceeds would be used to finance the production of new speciality chemicals.

Large-cap companies in other sectors also gained with telecommunications operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) climbing 4.1 percent and retailer Jarir Marketing advancing 4.3 percent.

EGYPT

Cairo's main index fell 0.4 percent, ending three sessions of gains that had taken the benchmark to a 13-month high on Thursday.

Losers outnumbered gainers 13 to 12 as foreign funds were net sellers of Egyptian shares, bourse data showed. Telecommunications operator Global Telecom Holding lost 3.3 percent.

Some second-tier stocks seen as laggards rose sharply, however, with GB Auto surging 5.7 percent. Oriental Weavers, which had jumped 10.0 percent on Thursday after it announced a five-year plan to boost production capacity across all product lines, climbed a further 6.9 percent.

On Thursday Egypt said it was making good progress in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a loan programme, and expected parliament to pass a long-awaited value-added tax by early September.

"As Cairo inches closer to inking a deal with the IMF, the stock market will continue to be supported," said Wafik Dawood, portfolio manager at Cairo-based Compass Capital.

SUNDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.7 percent to 6,290 points.

DUBAI

* The index gained 1.1 percent to 3,511 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index added 0.4 percent to 4,546 points.

EGYPT

* The index edged down 0.4 percent to 8,223 points.

QATAR

* The index advanced 1.0 percent to 10,789 points.

KUWAIT

* The index gained 0.6 percent to 5,492 points.

OMAN

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,875 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was flat at 1,157 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia

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