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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas down as London sukuk trial to resume, Qatar up
September 24, 2017 / 1:48 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas down as London sukuk trial to resume, Qatar up

* Dana Gas court case to resume on Monday

* North Korea tensions weigh on market generally

* Egypt blue-chip index down but broad index rises

* Qatar posts fourth straight session of gains

* Saudi market closed for public holiday

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Shares of Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas fell sharply on Sunday after news that a London court hearing on its maturing sukuk issue would resume, while Qatar’s bourse bucked a general downtrend in the region.

After several delays last week, a London High Court trial on the validity of $700 million of sukuk issued by Dana will go ahead on Monday. Dana said in June it would not repay holders of its Islamic bond, or sukuk, because it had become invalid under United Arab Emirates law.

The case is being fought in UAE and British courts, and sukuk holders have been hoping the London court will produce a ruling that effectively shuts down Dana’s legal campaign in both jurisdictions. The uncertainty knocked Dana’s shares 5.1 percent lower on Sunday.

“When creditors and shareholders are at odds in a legal hearing, this sends a bad signal,” said a regional fund manager.

Escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States weighed on Gulf markets in general, dragging the Abu Dhabi index 0.3 percent lower.

The Dubai index fell 0.9 percent as 27 shares declined including Emaar Properties, which lost 1.6 percent. Only seven stocks rose.

Shares favoured by foreign funds weighed on Egypt’s blue-chip index, which fell 0.6 percent; Global Telecom Holding lost 2.0 percent. But the broader EGX100 index added 0.7 percent.

Qatar’s index rose 0.4 percent as local and other regional investors were net buyers, bourse data showed, although the latter group accounted for only a very small fraction of Sunday’s market turnover.

The Qatari index gained for a fourth straight day, suggesting it may have bottomed after a steep slide due to the decision of four Arab states in June to cut ties with Doha.

Most banking shares rose on Sunday; Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan added 2.4 percent.

The Saudi Arabian and Omani were closed for public holidays on Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.9 percent to 3,600 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index declined 0.3 percent to 4,440 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 8,396 points.

EGYPT

* The index fell 0.6 percent to 13,607 points.

KUWAIT

* The index dropped 0.8 percent to 6,795 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 1,304 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia/Keith Weir)

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