January 29, 2019 / 1:49 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks pressure Saudi, Global Telecom leads Egypt gains

    * GTH surges to six-month high
    * IHC continues to gain on PAL Cooling acquisition talk
    * 10 of 11 Saudi banks slide
    * Saudi's Amana jumps on capital increase approval

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Jan 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market fell on
Tuesday as most of its bank shares dropped while Egypt's
blue-chip index gained, partly helped by Global Telecom
 on the prospect of it going private.
    Market sentiment was also hurt by weak global markets, as
prospects for a long-awaited Sino-U.S. trade deal were dealt
another blow after the United States levelled sweeping criminal
charges against China's telecom giant Huawei.
    Saudi Arabia's index lost 0.5 percent with Al Rajhi
Bank dropping 0.8 percent and Samba Financial Group
 shedding 1.6 percent.
    Al Khodari lost 0.4 percent after the Capital
Market Authority said it would impose a fine of 40,000 riyals 
($10,665.81) following its failure to disclose financial results
within the specified time frame.
    But Amana Cooperative Insurance jumped 10 percent
after saying its shareholders approved a capital increase to 240
million riyals from 140 million riyals.
    The Dubai index edged down 0.2 percent, pulled by
its banking shares. Mashreq Bank plunged 10 percent,
while Commercial Bank of Dubai slumped 7.5 percent.
    Property developer DAMAC Properties added 0.8
    The firm responded to reports that it was going invest $1.3
billion in London's property market. DAMAC said it had no plans
to invest in the UK real estate market at the moment.
    The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.5 percent,
helped by a 9.9 percent jump in Global Telecom Holding
. The stock has gained for the third straight session
after its major shareholder VEON Ltd said it was
considering taking it private.
    Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC)
 increased 2.5 percent, while Madinet Nasr for Housing
and Development (MNHD) gained 3 percent.
    The firms have been rising in the last few sessions after
calling off a planned merger last week.
    Abu Dhabi's index slid 0.4, with First Abu Dhabi Bank
 falling 0.8 percent and Abu Dhabi's National Energy
Company (TAQA) slipping 6.8 percent. TAQA said the
board will meet next week to approve financial results.
    International Holding continued to gain, closing
8.8 percent higher. The company said it would initiate
discussions to buy PAL Cooling.
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Union National
Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger on Tuesday
to create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates.
    The announcement was made after the market closed. ADCB
dipped 0.2 percent and UNB lost 2.4 percent as of last close on
    The Qatar index edged up 0.2 percent, helped by a 3.6
percent rise in Qatar Fuel and a 3.2 percent increase
in Qatar Gas Transport Co.
    Doha Bank rebounded partially, adding 2.2 percent.
The company fell after reporting a decline in its full year
    Qatar National Bank, the largest bank by assets in
the Middle East and Africa, was down 0.3 percent. The bank is
planning to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, Reuters said,
citing sources familiar with matter.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         fell 0.5 pct to 8,581 points
 DUBAI         The index          fell 0.2 pct to 2,566 points
 QATAR         The index        gained 0.2 pct to 10,722 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.4 pct to 5,033 points
 EGYPT         The index          added 0.5 percent to 13,977
 KUWAIT        The index        rose 0.4 pct to 5,415 points
 OMAN          The index        was up 0.3 pct at 4,172 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        gained 0.5 pct at 1,386 points
 ($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)
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