June 10, 2019 / 1:26 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Qatar lead Gulf markets higher after Eid holidays

    * 11 of 12 Saudi banks climb
    * Qatar National Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank rise ahead of
stock
split
    * All but one of Dubai's property stocks increase
    * 27 of 30 Egyptian blue chips gain

    By Shakeel Ahmad
    June 10 (Reuters) - All major Gulf markets performed
strongly on Monday after last week's holidays as a global rally
lifted regional sentiment, with Saudi and Qatar outperforming
and boosted respectively by expected foreign fund inflows and a
stock split.
    "All MENA markets have come back strong from the Eid break.
The Global lead has been positive but the local factors are also
supportive," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at
Al Mal Capital.
    Saudi's index rose 1.7% with its largest lender
National Commercial Bank jumping 3.6% and biggest
petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries adding
2.6%.
    The index has gained over 12% year-to-date in a rally led by
foreign investors, who have been net buyers of Saudi stocks
every month this year.
    Saudi stock exchange data released late on Sunday showed
foreigners bought a net 17.62 billion riyals ($4.70 billion) of
Saudi stocks last month.
    A third tranche of the FTSE Russell emerging market index
will kick in this month after Saudi stocks were included in two
tranches in March and April.
    "Investors are again repositioning for the FTSE flows in
Saudi," added Bhandari.
    Late last month the Saudi equity market joined the MSCI
Emerging Market index, which is expected to trigger billions of
dollars of foreign fund inflows.
    Qatar's index rose 2% with banks leading gains in 18
of its 20 stocks. The Middle East's largest lender Qatar
National Bank climbed 3.8% and Qatar Islamic Bank
 was up 2.3% ahead of a split of their stocks taking
effect later this week.
    "Qatar is sharply ahead on local retail accumulation as we
go through the 1:10 stock split," said Bhandari. 
    A 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is
being phased in from June 9, aiming to boost liquidity by
encouraging smaller investors to buy shares. 
    In Dubai, real estate stock pushed the index up
0.9%. The emirate's blue-chip developer Emaar Properties
 rose 1.6% and its unit Emaar Malls increased
4.3%.
    Dubai Islamic Bank also traded 1.6% higher after
its board recommended acquisition of the private lender Noor
Bank.
    Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.8%, lifted by Aldar
Properties, which rose 2.8%, and First Abu Dhabi Bank
(FAB) FAB.AD, which increased 1.5%.
    The lender fell 1.2% in the last session after the Qatar
Financial Centre Regulatory Authority said it had imposed
additional measures to restrict First Abu Dhabi's business in
the Gulf state.
    Egypt's blue-chip index rose, with 27 of its 30
stocks gaining and the country's largest lender Commercial
International Bank adding 1.9%.
    Global Telecom was up 1.1% after the company on
Sunday announced it had postponed its shareholder meeting to
provide more time for investors to consider the mandatory tender
offer submitted by major shareholder VEON.

($1 = 3.7501 riyals)
 SAUDI       The index         increased 1.7% to 8,849 points
 ARABIA      
 ABU DHABI   The index        was up 0.8% at 4,998 points
 DUBAI       The index          was up 0.9% at 2,675 points
 QATAR       The index        rose 2% to 10,504 points
 EGYPT       The index          gained 1.7% to 14,149 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        was up 0.4% at 1,451 points
 OMAN        The index        was up 0.5% at 3,973 points
 KUWAIT      The index        climbed 1.1% to 6,439 points
 
 (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan)
  
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