February 6, 2019 / 1:35 PM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials weigh on Qatar, most major Gulf markets gain

    * United Cooperative Assurance up after contract renewal 
    * Egypt's CIB continues to gain on strong Q4 results
    * Emirates NBD at its highest in six-months
    * Abu Dhabi National Hotels rises on higher dividend

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Feb 6 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf stock markets rose on
Wednesday with Dubai leading gains on the back of its financial
stocks, while Qatar was pulled down by its banking shares.
    Saudi Arabia's index inched up 0.1 percent with bank
Samba Financial Group rising 2 percent and
petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries gaining 0.8
    Insurance provider United Cooperative Assurance Co
climbed 6.3 percent after the Council of Cooperative Health
Insurance renewed its licence for one year.
    Saudi Investment Bank gained 1.4 percent. The firm
appointed Faisal Bin Abdullah al-Omran as its Chief Executive on
    "Investor sentiment was bullish [in January] as the influx
of foreign funds, uptick in oil prices and expansionary budget
policies are all expected to support corporate earnings growth
in 2019," Marmore MENA Intelligence said in a note. 
    Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.2 percent for its
tenth straight session of gains with Juhayna Food
rising 4.4 percent. The stock has gained nearly 9 percent after
it said last week that its full-year profit more than doubled.
    The country's biggest lender Commercial International Bank
 rose 0.3 percent. The bank reported a fourth-quarter
net profit after minority interest of 2.56 billion Egyptian
pounds ($145.70 million) compared to 1.87 billion pounds a year
    In Dubai, the index was up 0.6 percent helped by a
2 percent rise in Emirates NBD. Dubai's largest bank
has called for a shareholders' meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss the
issuance of multi-billion dirham non-convertible securities.
    Emaar Malls, which has shed more than 16 percent
so far this year, recouped some losses, gaining 2.7 percent,
while DAMAC Properties climbed 3.2 percent after HSBC
raised its rating to 'hold' from 'reduce'.
    Qatar's index was down 0.3 percent with most of its
banks slipping. Telecommunications firm Ooredoo fell
3.9 percent in active trade. 
    The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1 percent with
Emirates Telecommunications Group adding 0.5 percent,
and Abu Dhabi National Hotels surging 5.8 percent
after proposing a higher dividend for 2018.

 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         gained 0.1 pct to 8,633 points
 DUBAI         The index          added 0.6 pct to 2,557 points
 QATAR         The index        fell 0.3 pct to 10,684 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        edged up 0.1 pct to 5,143 points
 EGYPT         The index          rose 0.2 pct to 14,767 points
 KUWAIT        The index        lost 0.2 pct to 5,440 points
 OMAN          The index        was down 0.2 pct at 4,161 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        increased 0.4 pct to 1,409 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 17.5700 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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