May 27, 2019 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar, Saudi rise on financials; Property drags Dubai

    * Banks gain in Qatar
    * Saudi Steel Pipes sees best day in 4 months
    * Saudi's Savola rebounds
    * All property shares slide in Dubai

    By Ateeq Shariff
    May 27 (Reuters) - Qatar and Saudi Arabia's stock markets
rose on Monday, helped by financial companies, while Dubai's was
pressured by the real estate sector.
    Qatar's index rose 0.9% as banks gained. Qatar
Islamic Bank surged 8.7% and the Middle East's biggest
lender, Qatar National Bank, added 2.2%.
    Qatar's stock exchange is developing two new Exchange Traded
Funds, part of efforts by the Middle East's strongest performing
stock market in 2018 to boost foreign investment, Reuters
reported last week, citing CEO Rashid al-Mansoori.
    Companies on Qatar's exchange in 2018 increased foreign
ownership limits to 49%, most of which had previously been set
at 25%, drawing a flood of cash that helped to boost the main
index by more than 20% last year.
    "Now the minimum will be 49% for all Qatari companies ...
this will attract more liquidity and more room for foreign
investors to invest," said Mansoori.
    Saudi's stock index was up 0.3%, with market
heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries gaining 1.1% and
Saudi British Bank closing 3.4% higher. 
    The country's biggest food products company, Savola Group
, jumped 5.9%, rebounding from a 6.2% drop in the last
session.
    Saudi Steel Pipes surged 10% to its biggest
percentage gain since January after cutting its accumulated
losses to zero as of December 2018.
    MSCI said earlier this month that it would include MSCI
Saudi Arabia in its emerging markets index, effective May 28, a
move that could draw billions of dollars into the market.
    MSCI said 30 Saudi Arabian securities would be added,
representing an aggregate weight of 1.42% in the MSCI Emerging
Markets Index.
    Dubai's index fell 0.3% with all its property
stocks sliding. Emaar Properties shed 0.5% and its
unit Emaar Malls was down 1.1%.
    Emaar Properties has hired advisors including Standard
Chartered for the sale of its district cooling
business, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters, as
part of a broader plan to offload non-core
activities.
    Property prices have been falling since a mid-2014 peak,
hurt by weaker oil prices and muted sales, which in part were
behind the index's poor performance the last year.
    Egypt's blue-chip index slid 0.2%, with Juhayna
Food slumping 8.6% and Eastern Company down
2.4%.
    The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, lifted by a 2.7%
gain in energy firm Dana Gas.
             
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         added 0.3% to 8,382 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        edged up 0.1% to 4,779 points
 DUBAI         The index          fell 0.3% to 2,575 points
 QATAR         The index        rose 0.9% to 9,784 points
 EGYPT         The index          was down 0.2% at 13,960
               points
 BAHRAIN       The index        gained 0.2% to 1,413 points
 OMAN          The index        slid 0.2% to 3,865 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 0.8% to 6,091 points
 
 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine
Evans)
  
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