February 3, 2019 / 8:08 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-FAB leads Abu Dhabi index higher, Saudi subdued

* First Abu Dhabi bank up after foreign ownership hike

* UAE’s largest lender also beats Q4 forecasts

* Al Rajhi early gainer in Saudi

* Resignation of du CFO weighs on UAE telco

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s stock index led gains on Sunday, boosted by a surge in First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Saudi Arabia’s main market was buoyed by Al Rajhi Bank .

First Abu Dhabi Bank, which last week said it had proposed increasing its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent, has now risen close to 50 percent since its creation in April 2017.

The United Arab Emirates’ largest bank also beat analysts’ forecasts on Thursday with a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit.

The Abu Dhabi index rose by 1.7 percent, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, another driver, climbing 0.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s main index edged up 0.3 percent. Al Rajhi climbed by 1.0 percent, while developer Jabal Omar Development added 1 percent.

The Saudi market last week introduced the MSCI Tadawul 30 index, an index of the 30 largest securities listed on the Saudi market.

Banque Saudi Fransi slumped 3.1 percent after a spike in impairment charges squeezed its annual profit by 6.4 percent to 3.31 billion riyals ($882.56 million).

In Dubai, telecom company du dropped 1.2 percent after it said on Thursday that its chief financial officer Amer Kazim had resigned and would leave his post at the end of the first quarter.

In Qatar, the main index slipped 0.3 percent, with Qatar Fuel Co and Qatar National Bank the main drags, falling 1.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. ($1 = 3.7504 riyals) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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