December 16, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks hurt by global market woes, UAE property shares dive

DUBAI, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Gulf shares were mostly weak in early trade on Sunday, hurt by a fall in global and emerging markets on Friday, with property stocks suffering sharp declines in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Qatar shares were flat as shares of Qatar Aluminium opened at 18.00 riyals, nearly 80 percent above their initial public offer price of 10.10 riyals, capping a successful run for Qatar’s biggest equity listing this year. The shares later eased to 13.60 riyals.

In Dubai, shares of Emaar Properties dropped 3.5 percent and DAMAC Properties fell 1.2 percent in early trade.

On Wednesday, Emaar Properties had seen its biggest one-day gain since June 2017 and had extended gains on Thursday, as investors were tempted after a steep fall in the stock price.

Dubai’s weak real estate market has been a big drag for property shares this year with Emaar Properties down more than a third year-to-date. The Dubai index fell 1 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.6 percent, hurt by selling in Abu Dhabi National Energy Co which fell 8 percent on weak oil prices. Aldar Properties also dropped 2.5 percent.

The Saudi Arabia index was flat, but Zain Saudi Arabia surged 4.9 percent after it announced that it was one of three companies that had agreed with the government to a change in the calculation of their annual royalty fees.

Zain Saudi Arabia said the expected positive financial impact from the settlement of its disputed annual royalty fees for the period 2009 to 2017 was 1.7 billion riyals ($453 million).

$1 = 3.7508 riyals Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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