August 21, 2017 / 1:51 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-REITs shine in Saudi, trading volume shrinks in Qatar

* Saudi REITs active ahead of new listing on Tuesday

* Qatar posts lowest trading volume this year

* Dubai closes at day’s low

* Dana Gas soars in Abu Dhabi

* Qalaa Holdings surges in Egypt

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Real estate investment trusts were some of the top gainers on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange on Monday, a day before the listing of a new trust, but bourses in the region were generally sluggish, especially Qatar.

All four listed REITs were among the 10 most heavily traded shares in Riyadh, where the main index edged up 0.2 percent. Al Jazira Mawten REIT jumped 9.6 percent.

Jadwa REIT Haramain Fund rose 1.3 percent. The trust said it would distribute a cash dividend of 0.1 riyal per share for the 75-day period to June 30.

Maather REIT Fund will list on Tuesday. Analysts at NCB Capital estimated that based on its subscription price of 10 riyals per share, its dividend yield for 2017 would be 7.2 percent, and its subscription was covered 15.2 times, signalling strong investor appetite for real-estate-related securities.

Half of the 14 listed petrochemical shares advanced as Brent oil prices largely held onto Friday’s big gains. Yanbu National Petrochemical rose 1.1 percent.

Qatar’s index fell 0.8 percent in the market’s lowest trading volume this year. Commercial Bank lost 1.7 percent, wiping out Sunday’s 1.2 percent gain.

Dubai’s index declined by 0.6 percent to close at the day’s low. Builder Drake & Scull fell 1.8 percent; it said on Monday that it would seek shareholder approval to convert itself into a sharia-compliant company.

Union Properties, which has been volatile since last week when it posted a big quarterly loss as it fixed accounting errors, fell 2.0 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1 percent as Dana Gas soared 8.1 percent. Last week the company reported a 71 percent rise in second-quarter net profit as it slashed capital spending.

Egypt’s index rose 0.6 percent as investment firm Qalaa Holdings, the most heavily traded stock, surged 3.7 percent.

But Pioneers Holding fell 1.2 percent despite reporting that first-half standalone net profit rose to 106.2 million Egyptian pounds ($6.0 million) from 71.1 million pounds a year earlier.


* The index rose 0.2 percent to 7,225 points.


* The index fell 0.6 percent to 3,595 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,495 points.


* The index lost 0.8 percent to 9,065 points.


* The index rose 0.6 percent to 13,106 points.


* The index added 0.2 percent at 6,913 points.


* The index fell 0.2 percent to 1,310 points.


* The index rose 0.6 percent to 4,944 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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