August 23, 2017 / 5:47 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may move little in thin trade as oil, Asian shares steady

DUBAI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may move little in thin trade on Wednesday as oil prices and Asian markets have inched lower, though some stocks in Saudi Arabia may rise because of company- specific news.

Brent crude oil is down 0.2 percent to $51.75 a barrel and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is flat, although overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9 percent.

Saudi supermarket chain Al Othaim may attract some interest after the company said it had sold a shopping mall for 361 million riyals ($96.3 million) to “focus on its core business”. The company estimated the capital gain from this transaction would be 116 million riyals and be reflected in third-quarter results.

Saudi Indian Co for Cooperative Insurance (Wafa) may recover some of its heavy losses this week after saying it had received “temporary and conditional” approval from the central bank to sell some of its professional liability insurance policies.

Shares of Wafa are down 5.1 percent since Sunday when the company, along with three other insurers, was slapped by the central bank with a ban to sell motor vehicle policies because of improper practices.

In Egypt, investment bank EFG Hermes may rise after analysts at HSBC raised its rating to a “buy”. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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