October 10, 2018 / 2:13 PM / 7 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Property props up Dubai, banks boost Qatar

* Qatar index touches major technical resistance

* Qatar National Bank rises ahead of Q3 earnings

* Analyst says Dubai real estate earnings may be near trough

* Saudi’s Bawan jumps after unit’s deal

* Egypt’s Abu Qir Fertilizers up further after FY dividend

By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Dubai’s stock market rose sharply on Wednesday, helped by real estate shares, while Qatar gained on the back of its banks, even as the rest of the Middle East was largely quiet.

Qatar’s index rose 1.3 percent to 9,964 points, briefly touching technical resistance at 10,003-10,028 points, where the market peaked in August and September.

It was boosted by a 2.2 percent rise in Qatar National Bank ahead of its third-quarter earnings announcement later in the day. Qatar Islamic Bank was up 1.1 percent and Masraf Al Raya added 1.1 percent.

“The recent positive momentum in Qatari banks is on the back of expected results from Qatar National Bank,” said Aarthi Chandrasekaran, vice-president at Shuaa Capital in Dubai. However, she added that depreciation of the Turkish lira and weak lending growth to the public sector could dampen the results.

She noted that while Qatar had been one of the best-performing markets in the region this year, partly because of companies raising their foreign ownership ceilings, it was vulnerable to a steep correction given weakness in the fundamental condition of the banking industry.

Petrochemical and metals blue chip Industries Qatar added 2.3 percent.

In Dubai, the index climbed 1.2 percent, with Emaar Properties advancing 2.5 percent to 5.00 dirhams and DAMAC Properties rising 3.6 percent.

Arqaam Capital said in a report on Tuesday that while there were no real signs of improvement in the Dubai property market in the third quarter, earnings might be nearing the trough of their cycle. It recommended a “buy” rating for Emaar with a target price of 8.40 dirhams.

Dubai Islamic Bank added 0.2 percent after its third-quarter profit rose 10.8 percent, in line with analysts’ estimates. Emirates NBD gained 2.5 percent.

The Saudi Arabian index fell 0.9 percent, weighed down by blue chips such as Al Rajhi Bank, which fell 1.9 percent, and Saudi Basic Industries, which dropped 1.3 percent.

But Bawan Co, which has been trading at record lows, climbed 3.5 percent after its unit signed an agreement to supply Saudi Electricity Co with substations for 269.8 million riyals ($72 million). The company said the financial impact of the deal would appear in the first half of 2019.

Saudi Industrial Export jumped 10 percent after approving a capital increase through a rights offer. The rights issue will begin trading on Oct. 15.

Egypt’s blue-chip index, which has fallen 15 percent since the end of August, was up 0.2 percent as Commercial International Bank rebounded 1 percent.

Abu Qir Fertilizers continued to rise, gaining 2.3 percent after announcing a full-year dividend of 1.10 Egyptian pounds on Monday. SAUDI ARABIA * The index fell 0.9 percent to 7,835 points. DUBAI * The index rose 1.2 percent to 2,811 points. ABU DHABI * The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,015 points. QATAR * The index rose 1.3 percent to 9,964 points. KUWAIT * The index shed 0.3 percent to 5,289 points. BAHRAIN * The index dropped 0.3 percent to 1,321 points. OMAN * The index fell 0.2 percent to 4,509 points. EGYPT * The index was up 0.2 percent to 13,621 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Susan Fenton)

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