May 24, 2018 / 7:50 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves little early on, DXBE continues rebound in Dubai

DUBAI, May 24 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets moved little in early trade on Thursday but in Dubai amusement park operator DXB Entertainments continued a rebound from record lows in heavy trade.

The stock has been on a downtrend for almost two years because of losses suffered by the company and worse-than-expected attendance numbers. But it rose 3.4 percent to 0.424 dirham on Thursday morning, bringing its gains over the last four days to 16.5 percent. The median target price of seven analysts covering the stock is 0.73 dirham, according to Thomson Reuters data. The strength of DXB Entertainments helped the Dubai stock index rise 0.2 percent but most of the rest of the market was sluggish. Dubai property developers surged early this week after the United Arab Emirates cabinet decided to grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and some professionals. But the stocks have since lost momentum because of a lack of details of the plan, and uncertainty over whether it will make much difference to demand for local property.

In Abu Dhabi, the index climbed 0.3 percent as energy investment firm TAQA jumped 6.6 percent; it is up 136 percent year-to-date on the back of strong oil prices.

The Saudi index was down 0.1 percent after 35 minutes on profit-taking in some banks, with National Commercial Bank down 0.4 percent.

But appliance maker and distributor Shaker added 2.6 percent in heavy trade. It surged 3.6 percent on Wednesday in its heaviest volume since March 2017 after a subsidiary signed a memorandum of understanding with Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting, to conduct efficiency studies and retrofitting across Saudi Arabia.

In Oman, the index edged up 0.1 percent as Al Izz Islamic Bank surged 5.2 percent.

It said Oman Arab Bank, a much bigger company which is a subsidiary of Oman International Development and Investment Co (OMINVEST), had proposed to Al Izz a strategic collaboration that might lead to an eventual merger. OMINVEST fell 3.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Keith Weir)

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