May 24, 2017 / 8:02 AM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-DXBE, Emaar Malls underperform otherwise quiet region

DUBAI, May 24 (Reuters) - Shares in companies linked to tourism underperformed in Dubai in an otherwise flat regional market in early trade on Wednesday.

Dubai’s theme park operator, and constituent of the MSCI emerging market benchmark, DXB Entertainments, lost 2.2 percent to 0.789 dirham, its lowest price since January 2015.

Its shares been hit hard over the last few sessions, as investors expect Ramadan and hot summer weather may reduce footfall at its Dubai hotels and theme parks.

Emaar Malls Group was down 1.9 percent after the retail arm of Emaar Properties said it will buy a 51 percent stake in e-commerce fashion website Namshi from Global Fashion Group (GFG), a start-up set up by Rocket Internet , for $151 million.

Although this may be an alternative revenue stream for Emaar Malls, which depends on brick and mortar businesses and visitors to its malls, some investors may find the expected acquisition will hurt its core business.

Dubai’s index was flat.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.2 percent with main support from the two largest listed shares. Telecommunications operator Etisalat was up 0.9 percent and First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s index edged down 0.1 percent with Islamic lender, Masraf Al Rayan, which has been rising since for six straight days, dipped 0.9 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, the index was flat after half an hour of trade, with the majority of trade focused on small and mid sized stocks.

Saudi Industrial Development, a company that makes various industrial and consumer goods, was up 1.7 percent in unusually high volume. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Additional reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Heavens)

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