September 5, 2017 / 7:46 AM / 20 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait outperforms, Dana off highs in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Kuwait’s stock market outperformed in early trade on Tuesday as it reopened after Eid al-Adha holidays, while Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas trimmed hefty initial gains made on a deal to obtain payments from Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Kuwaiti index climbed 0.5 percent. Many investors are hoping index compiler FTSE will decide at the end of this month to upgrade Kuwait to secondary emerging market status, which would bring fresh inflows of passive funds.

Blue chips that would be targets of such funds rose on Tuesday, with logistics giant Agility climbing 2.5 percent.

A Reuters poll of leading Middle East fund managers, published last week, found 62 percent expected to raise their allocations to Kuwaiti stocks over the next three months and none anticipated cutting them, partly because of the FTSE hopes.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.2 percent as Dana, the most heavily traded stock, gained 2.7 percent to 0.75 dirham, off its early high of 0.79.

On Monday, Dana jumped 14.1 percent on news that the government of Iraqi Kurdistan had agreed to immediately pay Dana’s gas production consortium $1 billion, including $400 million that will be used for investment in the region.

Dana is due 35 percent of the money, which it said on Tuesday the consortium had already received.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent as amusement park operator DXB Entertainments, the most active stock, added 2.3 percent, rebounding for a third straight day from a month-long downtrend. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet)

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