December 26, 2017 / 1:38 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt outperform in weak region

* Data shows deflationary pressure on Saudi economy easing

* Dar Al Arkan leaps in heavy trade

* Arab Sea Information Systems surges on deal with government

* Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas flat after soaring on Monday

* Qatar First Bank pulls back in heavy volume

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in a mostly weak Gulf region on Tuesday after data showed deflationary pressure on the economy easing, while Egypt also gained but trading volume remained very low because of the end-of-year holiday period.

The Saudi index rose 0.4 percent as real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, jumped 7.8 percent to its highest finish since September 2014.

The stock soared between mid-November, when international index compiler MSCI said it was adding it to its Saudi Arabia Index, and mid-December. Investors are also hoping for the company to reach a deal with the housing ministry on building homes.

Arab Sea Information Systems jumped 8.9 percent after signing a memorandum of understanding with the government’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority to provide it with services and technical solutions.

Saudi Industrial Export gained 4.9 percent as a capital decrease to 10.8 million riyals ($2.9 million) from 108 million riyals through a share cancellation went into effect, ahead of a rights issue.

Government data released on Tuesday showed Saudi consumer prices rising from a year earlier in November for the first time in 11 months. The price index edged up 0.1 percent.

The country experienced consumer price deflation in the first 10 months of this year, partly because of a weak economy. But non-oil sector growth picked up in the fourth quarter, to a large degree because of higher government spending.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 percent as two Bahraini banks which have been the focus of speculative trade in the last few days, Khaleeji Commercial Bank and Al Salam Bank , pulled back.

Union Properties was again the most heavily traded stock, rising 1.0 percent. On Monday, it surged 3.3 percent after saying it planned to list its ServeU facilities management unit in Dubai in the second half of 2018.

Abu Dhabi’s index slipped 0.4 percent. Dana Gas was flat after soaring 13.2 percent on Monday, when a court in the emirate of Sharjah was to hear a case in which Dana is seeking to avoid having to redeem $700 million of outstanding sukuk. The company did not issue a statement about the hearing and court officials could not be reached to comment.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.8 percent but Qatar First Bank, the most heavily traded stock, fell back 1.9 percent. It began a rebound from record lows in late November.

Egypt’s index gained 0.5 percent as GB Auto added 3.4 percent in its highest trading volume for a week.‍


* The index rose 0.4 percent to 7,178 points.


* The index dropped 0.7 percent to 3,332 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 4,320 points.


* The index slipped 0.8 percent to 8,501 points.


* The index rose 0.5 percent to 14,923 points.


* The index rose 0.4 percent to 6,369 points.


* The index fell 0.6 percent to 1,285 points.


* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 5,007 points. (Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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