November 15, 2018 / 2:13 PM / 25 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of region firm, blue chips boost Egypt sharply

* Egypt blue chips far outperform broad index

* Global Telecom, Edita Food particularly strong

* Qatar rises despite continued drag from MSCI decisions

* Some Saudi petchems, bank shares rebound a little

* DAMAC rebounds in Dubai

By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and shakeel ahmad

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Most Middle Eastern stock markets were firm on Thursday while Egypt rose sharply in active trade on buying of blue chips that was encouraged by strength in emerging markets, generally due to optimism over the Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

The Egyptian blue-chip index rose 1.4 percent, far outperforming the broader EGX100, which was almost flat.

Global Telecom gained 3.2 percent and Edita Food added 7.3 percent. Orascom Investment Holding rose 2.8 percent after reporting a profit for its third quarter compared with a loss last year.

Orascom’s board approved the presentation of a tender offer to buy a non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital at a price of 6.62 or 7.36 Egyptian pounds per share, depending on how many shares are bought. Sarwa gained 5.1 percent to 6.35 pounds.

Investment bank EFG Hermes Holding gained 1.2 percent after its third-quarter profit rose 17.5 percent, and Telecom Egypt added 5.3 percent after its profit jumped for the same period.

Qatar’s index edged up 0.2 percent after dropping for two sessions. Qatar National Bank was the biggest gainer, adding 2.9 percent, and telecommunications firm Ooredoo rose 2.0 percent.

But Qatar Fuel lost a further 5.6 percent, a day after it plunged 10 percent in response to MSCI’s decision, against market expectations, not to include the stock in its global indexes.

Mesaieed Petrochemical, which had lost 1.5 percent on Wednesday after it was also excluded, fell another 1.5 percent. Doha Bank slid 1.5 percent; the stock had lost 6.3 percent on Wednesday after MSCI decided to move it to a small cap index from the Qatar standard index.

Qatar Petroleum said the $750 million initial public offer of its aluminium unit QAMCO was more than two-and-a-half times subscribed. QAMCO will begin trading on the Qatar exchange in December.

Saudi Arabia’s index was flat but some petrochemical and bank shares recovered a little after oil prices steadied, having plunged 7 percent earlier this week.

Al Tayyar Travel rose 1.3 percent after dropping slightly on the previous day, when MSCI said it would move the stock to a small cap index from its main Saudi Arabia index.

Retailer and mall operator Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair was up 1.1 percent; it had risen its 10 percent daily limit on Wednesday after MSCI decided to add the stock to its Saudi Arabia small cap index.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.7 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.7 percent. The stock had gained 2.8 percent on Wednesday after MSCI decided to double its weight in the MSCI emerging markets standard index.

Etisalat climbed 1.4 percent and fuel distribution firm Adnoc Distribution added 2.1 percent after its third-quarter profit jumped 55 percent.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.1 percent as DAMAC Properties rebounded 1.5 percent while Emaar Malls rose 1.6 percent. SAUDI ARABIA * The index was flat at 7,662 points. DUBAI * The index was up 0.1 percent at 2,779 points. ABU DHABI * The index was up 0.7 percent at 5,055 points. QATAR * The index was up 0.2 percent to 10,214 points. EGYPT * The index rose 1.4 percent at 13,682 points. BAHRAIN * The index slipped 0.1 percent at 1,309 points. OMAN * The index was down 0.2 percent at 4,451 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Jon Boyle)

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