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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf trades mixed, second-tier Saudi petchems rise
December 28, 2016 / 3:34 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf trades mixed, second-tier Saudi petchems rise

* Saudi Electricity drops after surge on budget

* Al Othaim Markets up on shopping mall sale

* Emaar Properties pulls down Dubai

* Trading volume shrinks in Egypt

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Major Gulf stock markets were mixed in quiet trade on Wednesday although some second-tier Saudi petrochemical stocks rose sharply after oil prices climbed overnight.

The main Saudi index traded higher for much of the day but closed 0.2 percent lower as Saudi Electricity, which had risen after last week’s state budget for 2017 promised to raise electricity tariffs, fell back 2.6 percent.

Petrochemical stocks were the top three gainers, with Petrochem up by its 10 percent daily limit, Chemanol gaining 8.5 percent and Sipchem adding 5.4 percent.

Officials said during budget presentations that they would protect the petrochemical industry from austerity measures by delaying any rises in prices for gas feedstock to at least 2019.

Al Othaim Markets added 3.7 percent after saying it expected to make a capital gain of 112.1 million riyals ($29.9 million) from the sale of a shopping mall in Ha‘el City.

Dubai’s index dropped 0.6 percent in moderate trading volume because of a 2.5 percent drop by Emaar Properties

Gulf Navigation closed flat after rising as much as 1.9 percent on news it formed a partnership with SeaQuest, a Geneva-based firm providing ship and project management services. Gulf Navigation will use the tie-up to expand its business in these areas in the Middle East and Africa, it said.

Abu Dhabi’s index was almost flat, supported by a 0.8 percent gain by telecommunications firm Etisalat ETEL.AD. Qatar was up 0.3 percent as Qatar Navigation added 2.0 percent.

The Egyptian stock index climbed 0.6 percent as trading volume shrank by about half from Tuesday’s high level.

Qalaa Holdings jumped 7.5 percent, rising in unusually heavy trade for a second straight day. Arabian Cotton Ginning dropped back 4.7 percent after surging earlier this week on the board’s plan to split the company into two.

WEDNESDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 7,241 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 0.6 percent to 3,520 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,472 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 10,336 points.

EGYPT

* The index climbed 0.6 percent to 12,260 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,753 points.

OMAN

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,765 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,213 points.

Editing by Andrew Roche

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