April 25, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls for second day, property stocks weigh on Dubai

* Saudi blue-chips weigh on region’s largest bourse

* L’azurde Company for Jewelry surges on acquisition deal

* Dubai dragged lower by property stocks

* Drake & Scull plunges to its lowest since May 2017.

* In Abu Dhabi, Etisalat slips after flat earnings

By Tom Arnold

DUBAI, April 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock index fell for a second consecutive day on Wednesday as investors dumped blue-chip stocks, while property stocks dragged down Dubai’s market.

The Saudi index closed 1.0 percent lower after hitting a more than two-year high earlier in the week.

Saudi Basic Industries, the largest stock, was a big contributor to the decline, falling 0.9 percent. Banks Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank also weighed on the index, falling 3.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Saudi stocks have attracted huge inflows in recent months - sending the index up nearly 14 percent - on anticipation of the upgrade of some companies to emerging markets indexes. But in recent days, investors have begin to view some of the banking and petrochemical stocks as expensive, analysts say.

L’azurde Company for Jewelry surged 1.9 percent after it agreed with Tamkeen Industrial & Trading Company the price and final terms for the pair to buy a competitor, Izdiad Commercial Company of Arabia.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.3 percent. Emaar Properties slipped 1.5 percent, while Damac Properties fell 2.2 percent. Both property stocks have sagged so far this year, with Emaar down 17.3 percent and Damac down 18.2 percent, mainly on anxiety about the outlook for the real estate market. The most active stock in early trade was contractor Drake & Scull, which plunged 9.4 percent, its lowest since May 2017.

It follows a statement from the company that at an annual shareholders meeting some shareholders proposed either increasing the company’s capital by 500 million dirhams by issuing new shares or up to 1 billion dirhams of convertible bonds.

The Qatar index moved up 0.2 percent. Shares in Barwa Real Estate rose 1.6 percent after it said it would seek shareholder approval to raise the non-Qatari ownership ceiling to 49 percent from 25 percent.

Shares in Qatari drilling rig provider Gulf International Services tumbled 6.8 percent after the company reported first-quarter net profit of 9.5 million riyals, down from 15.1 million riyals in the year earlier period.

The Abu Dhabi index finished 0.4 percent down. Telecoms operator Etisalat, which has the largest weighting of any stock on the index, sank 0.9 percent after the company on Tuesday reported flat profit growth in the first quarter.

SAUDI ARABIA * The index fell 1.0 percent to 8,233 points. DUBAI * The index dropped 0.3 percent to 3,026 points. ABU DHABI * The index edged down 0.4 percent to 4,671 points. QATAR * The index rose 0.2 percent to 9,110 points. KUWAIT * The index edged up 0.6 percent to 4,823 points. OMAN * The index edged down 0.5 percent to 4,741 points. BAHRAIN * The index was down 1.0 percent to 1,269 points. (Editing by Toby Chopra)

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