* Firmer oil prices support petrochemical shares in Saudi
* Banking heavyweights diverge as worries loom
* Qatar cools day after FTSE index inclusion
* But Ooredoo jumps after quashing speculation over stake
sale in Indonesia telco
* Egypt retreats with all shares declining
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, Sept 21 Bourses in the Gulf were mixed on
Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's bourse supported by the
petrochemical sector while Egypt lost steam as local and
regional funds exited positions.
Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.4 percent in moderate
trade as Brent prices firmed over $46 a barrel. Saudi
Basic Industries, the petrochemical heavyweight,
climbed 0.9 percent.
The insurance sub-index, usually actively traded by
day traders, added 1.7 percent as almost all the constituents
advanced, recouping some of the heavy losses of the week. BUPA
Arabia, a mid-sized medical insurer, rose 2.9 percent.
But banking shares were mixed, with the sub-index
losing 0.2 percent as the sector's heavyweights diverged. Al
Rajhi Bank, the largest listed Islamic lender, dropped
"There is an overhang from the construction sector on Saudi
banks, but we believe that the capital buffers in top-tier banks
are sufficient," said Kunal Damle, institutional sales for
brokerage at Bahrain's Securities & Investment Company (SICO).
Samba Financial Group, which derived 11 percent of
its net income from corporate banking in the first half of the
year, jumped 4.9 percent.
The exchange will be closed on Thursday in observance of the
kingdom's national day holiday and will resume trade on Sunday
Qatar's stock index slipped 0.04 percent, after
advancing 1.0 percent on Tuesday as passive funds flowed into
the companies now included in the FTSE's secondary emerging
Seven of the 22 shares which are now FTSE members pulled
back, with Ezdan Holding Group dropping 1.2 percent,
while five of them advanced with Masraf Al Rayan
adding 0.3 percent.
But mobile operator Ooredoo, now a member of the
FTSE emerging market index, added 2.4 percent after the company
said late on Tuesday it had no intention of selling any of its
interest in Indonesian subsidiary Indosat Ooredoo. There had
been media speculation it was considering a stake sale to focus
on Middle Eastern markets.
Dubai's index failed to hold onto small gains from
earlier in the day and dropped 0.3 percent as declines in blue
chips weighed on the exchange.
Emaar Properties retreated 1.3 percent and Dubai
Investments lost 1.0 percent.
But Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.2 percent although
activity was lower than previous sessions this week. Union
National Bank, which has shed 6.7 percent since Sunday,
added 1.0 percent.
Cairo's main index retreated 1.4 percent in this
week's highest volume of trade as both local and regional funds
cashed out, bourse data showed.
All 30 shares declined with real estate developer Amer Group
Holding slumping 6.9 percent and Qalaa Holdings
dropping 5.3 percent.
"Investors are hopeful, but are not holding their breath
waiting for the IMF $12 billion loan and the host of policy
actions that should be taken to secure it," said a Cairo based
* The index rose 0.4 percent to 5,949 points.
* The index slipped 0.04 percent to 10,253 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 3,446 points.
* The index added 0.2 percent to 4,470 points.
* The index dropped 1.4 percent to 7,938 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 1,134 points.
* The index declined 0.03 percent to 5,750 points.
($1 = 3.7508 riyals)
(Editing by Louise Heavens)