April 2, 2019 / 1:27 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar, Emirates lift Dubai; petrochemicals aid Saudi

    * Emirates NBD lingers around 10-month high
    * Dubai's Shuaa jumps on reverse merger report
    * Kuwait index rises to highest level in 3 years
    * Mesaieed Petrochemical gains on MSCI index inclusion

    By Ateeq Shariff and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan
    April 2 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market rose for the fourth
straight session to a four-month high on Tuesday, lifted mainly
by gains in heavyweights Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD,
while petrochemical stocks buoyed Saudi Arabia.
    The Dubai index closed 1.2 percent higher with
Emaar Properties gaining 3.2 percent, while its
largest lender Emirates NBD was up 2.4 percent, as one
of its businesses will list on the London Stock Exchange.
    "Our channel checks suggest foreigners have been
accumulating Emaar. Also, it seems the stock had some favourable
moves on technical charts. In banking, Emirates is seeing some
interest on back of the IPO of its affiliate," Vrajesh Bhandari,
senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital said.
    "We have been positive on Dubai names since the beginning of
the year, mainly on account of valuations," Bhandari said,
adding that they expect the real estate market to be stable
through the course of the year.
    Payments processor Network International said shares in its
initial public offering (IPO) would be priced between 395 pence
and 465p each, implying a valuation of between 1.9 billion
pounds and 2.3 billion ($2.5-3.0 billion).
    Emirates NBD is the major shareholder in the firm, holding
about 51 percent.
    Shuaa Capital jumped 7 percent, to its highest
since mid-December 2018. Abu Dhabi Financial Group is set to
take over Shuaa in a reverse merger, two sources familiar with
the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
    The Saudi index was up 0.4 percent, with Saudi Basic
Industries gaining 0.8 percent and National
Industrialization Co climbing 4.8 percent.
    Oil prices hit a 2019 high above $69 a barrel, with Brent
crude touching $69.50, the highest since mid-November. 
    Saudi International Petrochemical Co rose 1.2
percent. The firm appointed Abdullah Bin Saif Al-Saadoon as its
chief executive and managing director. 
    The Egyptian blue-chip index rose 1.4 percent with
Commercial International Bank adding 4.3 percent.
    El Sewedy Electric increased 3.1 percent. On
Monday, the firm said its consortium with Mitsubishi Hitachi
Power Systems was awarded a contract worth about $550 million
from the Sharjah Electricity And Water Authority.
    In Qatar, the index added 0.5 percent, led by a 4.8
percent rise in Qatar Insurance, its biggest intraday
gain in five months.
    Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding rose 3.8 percent to
its highest since August 2015. The firm is eligible for
inclusion in MSCI's emerging market index in May, which is
expected to result in passive inflows of $230 million, Arqaam
Capital said in a note on Monday.
    Kuwait's index rose 1 percent to its highest level
since 2016, boosted by bank shares. National Bank of Kuwait
 added 1.1 percent and Ahli United Bank
increased 1.6 percent.
    Abu Dhabi's index traded flat with energy firm Dana
Gas rising 2.1 percent. On Sunday the company said it
had received $19 million from Egypt as a part of the
government's efforts to reduce monies owed to zero in 2019.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 0.4 pct to 8,935 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        was flat at 5,054 points
 DUBAI         The index          gained 1.2 pct to 2,730
 QATAR         The index        added 0.5 pct to 10,201 points
 EGYPT         The index          was up 1.4 pct at 15,166
 KUWAIT        The index        rose 1 pct to 6,064 points
 OMAN          The index        dropped 0.5 pct to 3,940 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was up 0.2 pct at 1,404 points
 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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