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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retail sector lifts market, Dubai, Qatar supported by banking shares
July 12, 2017 / 8:24 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retail sector lifts market, Dubai, Qatar supported by banking shares

DUBAI, July 12 (Reuters) - Shares of retailers were the chief gainers in Saudi Arabia in early trade on Tuesday, the property sector helped Dubai and Qatar was buoyed by blue chips such as Qatar National Bank.

The Riyadh index was up 0.7 percent as electronics seller United Electronics continued to rally in heavy trade as investors gained confidence in the company after it reported a near quadrupling in second quarter results, its board recommended a cash dividend for the first time since 2015, and on comments by its chief executive to local media that it plans to expand its online footprint.

Extra's chief competitor Jarir was up 2.3 percent.

Shares of Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain Saudi) jumped 3.5 percent after Bloomberg reported the company is nearing an agreement to sell about 7,500 mobile phone towers, which could fetch as much as $500 million, to Lebanon's TASC Towers, citing people familiar with the matter.

Zain has not yet published quarterly results and last quarter it reported its first ever net profit. NCB Capital's forecast for the second quarter is a net profit of 31 million riyals.

Qatar's index was up 1.2 percent as nine of the top ten most valuable Qatari shares rose with Qatar National Bank rising 1.2 percent and its peer Masraf Al Rayan gaining 2.5 percent.

Qatar National Bank on Tuesday reported an almost 3.6 percent increase in second-quarter net profit, above analysts forecasts, helped by a drop in bad debt charges and lower staff costs.

In Dubai, property developers pushed the index 0.4 percent higher with the largest of them, Emaar Properties adding 0.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index was almost flat as shares of Dana Gas , the most traded shares on Wednesday morning, fell 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

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