* Egypt's SODIC jumps on expansion plans, strong Q1 results
* Positive mood spills over to other developers
* Saudi Arabia sees highest volume since January
* Small caps outperform large caps
* Dubai's DAMAC continues climb on MSCI upgrade
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, May 17 Egypt's stock market outperformed
its Gulf peers on Wednesday on the back of strong first-quarter
earnings and positive news from a real estate developer, while
Saudi Arabia saw increased activity as traders took positions
ahead of Ramadan.
Egypt's index rose 1.0 percent as real estate firm
Sixth of October Development (SODIC) jumped 4.2
percent to a four-month high in its heaviest trade since May
The company's chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday it
planned to buy new land to the north and west of Cairo as part
of an expansion plan. In total, SODIC would acquire land worth
600 million Egyptian pounds ($33.2 million).
The value of contracted sales during the first quarter
reached 1.2 billion pounds, beating the company's target of 1
billion pounds. On Tuesday SODIC reported net profit of 211
million pounds for the first quarter, four times its year-ago
The positive sentiment spilled over into shares of other
property developers with the largest by market value, Talaat
Mostafa Group, adding 0.8 percent, recovering slightly
from the previous day's heavy loss on news that MSCI will remove
the stock from its main Egypt index.
Ezz Steel rose 2.1 percent after one of its
subsidiaries reported an almost tripling in first-quarter net
income compared with a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Saudi index added 0.1 percent in the
heaviest trading volume since January as much activity focused
on second- and third-tier stocks.
"Investors are taking positions or exiting them ahead of the
holy month of Ramadan," said a Jeddah-based trader. Ramadan is
expected to start on May 27.
Saudi Paper Manufacturing gained 3.1 percent as
about 3.2 million shares traded hands on Wednesday, more than
triple the usual daily volume.
Of the 20 most valuable companies by market capitalisation,
only eight rose, with Almarai and Makkah Construction
Development each gaining 1.7 percent.
The Dubai index rose 0.5 percent as DAMAC
Properties extended the previous session's 2.9
percent gain to add a further 2.5 percent.
Its shares have been rising since index compiler MSCI said
on Monday that it would add the stock to its United Arab
Emirates index on June 1. Arqaam Capital estimated the inclusion
would bring $68 million of passive fund inflows into the stock.
Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.3 percent as mid-sized
Eshraq Properties, the most heavily traded share,
climbed 2.8 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy
jumped 3.5 percent.
Qatar's index rose 0.2 percent with its main support
from blue-chip banks; Qatar National Bank added 1.0
* The index rose 0.1 percent to 6,947 points.
* The index added 0.5 percent to 3,395 points.
* The index edged up 0.3 percent to 4,594 points.
* The index rose 0.2 percent to 10,145 points.
* The index gained 1.0 percent to 13,064 points.
* The index rose 0.1 percent to 6,732 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 1,310 points.
* The index lost 0.2 percent to 5,423 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)