June 4, 2017 / 2:43 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises ahead of MSCI decision, Ezdan leaps in Qatar

* Investors hope MSCI will start reviewing Saudi on June 20

* Dar Al Arkan surges after appointing new CEO

* Al Baha Investment soars as four-year suspension lifted

* Beaten-down Ezdan Holding leaps in Qatar

* Egypt rises further from record high

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, June 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Sunday on hopes that MSCI would soon begin steps towards adding Riyadh to its emerging market index. Other regional bourses moved little though major property firm Ezdan Holding rebounded sharply in Qatar.

MSCI is to announce on June 20 whether it will launch a review of whether to add Saudi Arabia to its index. Inclusion would probably not take place before mid-2019, but it could ultimately bring tens of billions of dollars of fresh foreign money to Riyadh.

In the last few days, investors have gradually increased their bets on a positive decision on June 20 by adding to their holdings of stocks which foreign investors are expected to favour.

A few of these gained on Sunday; Saudi Basic Industries , the top petrochemical maker, rose 0.9 percent, helping the stock index climb 0.9 percent.

Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, gained 2.5 percent after saying it had appointed Ziad Elchaar, previously managing director of Dubai’s DAMAC Properties , as chief executive.

Al Baha Investment jumped 10 percent as the stock resumed trading after a four-year suspension because its accumulated losses exceeded regulatory standards. The suspension was lifted after Al Baha took action to reduce those losses.

Qatar’s stock index edged down 0.2 percent but Ezdan , which had tumbled as much as 29 percent since late last month, when shareholders approved the delisting of the company, jumped its 10 percent daily limit to 12.58 riyals in heavy trade.

It has begun recovering in the past two trading days. The board has said it will prepare a statement of the company’s fair value per share, to be presented to shareholders at a subsequent meeting, and some traders may be speculating on a buyout price above current market levels.

Dubai’s index fell 0.3 percent although some of the beaten-down stocks of the last few months continued recovering gradually; amusement park operator DXB Entertainments edged up 0.3 percent.

In late trade on Sunday, GFH Financial issued a statement saying it was pulling out of talks to take over Shuaa Capital. But the stocks had not moved on the news by the time the market closed, and GFH later issued another statement withdrawing its first statement. It did not explain the error or say why it had prepared the initial statement.

In Egypt the index, which had risen to a record closing high on Thursday, gained a further 0.2 percent to 13,495 points, although turnover shrank. Property firms Porto Group and Amer Group were the most heavily traded stocks.



* The index rose 0.9 percent to 6,928 points.


* The index fell 0.3 percent to 3,342 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,483 points.


* The index dropped 0.2 percent to 9,924 points.


* The index gained 0.2 percent to 13,495 points.


* The index rose 0.3 percent to 6,830 points.


* The index climbed 0.6 percent to 1,333 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,428 points.

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