January 23, 2019 / 1:40 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials lift Dubai, most major Gulf markets gain

    * Dubai breaks three day losing streak
    * Nasdaq-listed DP World gains after stake purchase 
    * 9 of 10 banks rise in Saudi
    * Egypt exchange resets SODIC, MNHD after merger called off

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Jan 23 (Reuters) - The Dubai stock market snapped a three
day losing streak on Wednesday, boosted by its financial and
property shares, while Saudi Arabia rose on the back of its
banks.
    The Dubai index was up 0.9 percent higher with
Emirates NBD, its largest bank, adding 2.1 percent and
its largest listed developer Emaar Properties gaining
2.2 percent.
    Gulf Arab economies are expected to grow at a slower pace
than previously forecast, a quarterly Reuters poll of economists
found, as oil output cuts, lower crude prices and weaker global
growth put pressure on regional economies.
    Amlak Finance rose 2.2 percent after announcing a
renegotiation of restructuring terms with its financiers to
allow more flexibility in adapting to "current market
conditions".
    Nasdaq-listed DP World increased 0.7 percent after
increasing its stake in its Australia unit. The port operator
will spend at least $250 million buying back some shares in its
Australian port terminals unit.
    Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.8 percent, with nine out
of 10 banks rising. Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.6 percent
and Samba Financial Group closed 1.7 percent higher.
    Petrochemical investor Alujain added 1.5 percent
after an update on the fire at its affiliate's plant. The
company said it now expects the NATPET plant to start operating
all units by the end of September.
    The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent
with its largest listed bank Commercial International Bank
 gaining 4.2 percent.
    The Egyptian Exchange on Wednesday cancelled all
transactions made the previous day in local firms Sixth of
October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) and
Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MNHD).
    The move followed SODIC's decision against a takeover of
MNHD and involved their shares being suspended on Wednesday as
the bourse reset prices.
    Global Telecom Holding jumped 10 percent before
trading on its shares were suspended, pending a statement from
the company after VEON Ltd, a major shareholder in the
firm, said it was considering taking it private.
    But Alexandria Mineral Oils Co plunged 7.8 percent
in active trade after posting a 62.6 percent drop in its
half-year net profit.
    Qatar's index lost 0.4 percent with Industries Qatar
 and Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) both
shedding 1.6 percent.
    Qatar was one of the world's best performing markets last
year with a 20.8 percent gain, partially helped by increasing
foreign ownership limit to 49 percent.
    Abu Dhabi's index added 0.3 percent, with First Abu
Dhabi Bank the largest lender in the United Arab
Emirates gaining 0.6 percent.
      
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was up 0.8 pct at 8,466
               points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 0.9 pct to 2,517 points
 QATAR         The index        lost 0.4 pct to 10,650 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        was up 0.3 pct at 4,971 points
 EGYPT         The index          was up 0.2 pct at 13,507
               points
 KUWAIT        The index        lost 0.4 pct to 5,482 points
 OMAN          The index        was down 0.4 pct at 4,166
               points
 BAHRAIN       The index        added 0.7 pct to 1,362 points
 
($1 = 17.8800 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;
Editing by Alison Williams)
  
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