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UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar MSCI picks extend gains; Dubai builders fall
May 14, 2015 / 7:07 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar MSCI picks extend gains; Dubai builders fall

(Updates with markets open)

DUBAI, May 14 (Reuters) - Most Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday, led by Qatar which was supported by the inclusion of two stocks in MSCI’s emerging markets index, but Dubai construction firms fell after poor first-quarter earnings.

Doha’s main equities index rose 1.1 percent as Ezdan Holding and Qatar Insurance surged 5.2 percent each. Index compiler MSCI added both stocks to its emerging markets index for the first time in its semi-annual review on Tuesday, although the move surprised some analysts who said it might be reversed.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 0.4 percent and developer Aldar Properties rose 1.8 percent after it posted a 36 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on lower costs and strong earnings from its rental business.

The company made 618 million dirhams ($168.3 million) in the quarter, while SICO Bahrain had forecast a profit of 509 million dirhams.

Dubai’s index was flat as construction companies Drake and Scull International (DSI) and Arabtec dropped 3.6 and 2.0 percent respectively.

DSI reported a 38 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday, missing an analyst’s estimate as revenue fell, and it warned that difficulties in Saudi Arabia would affect its performance this year.

The firm also complained about a liquidity crunch in the industry, a day after Arabtec posted a surprise first-quarter loss.

Oman’s bourse inched up 0.1 percent while Kuwait fell 0.5 percent. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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