May 1, 2019 / 1:24 PM / 19 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Cement makers stir Saudi stock rally, Dubai slips

    * Emaar Properties hits 1-month low as trades ex-div
    * All Saudi cement producers gain in 2-day rally
    * ADCB falls on first day of trading as new co
    * Egypt, Bahrain closed for public holiday

    By Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan
    May 1 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market gained on
Wednesday, lifted for a second session by a results-driven rally
in cement producers, while Dubai's slipped after Emaar
Properties traded ex-dividend and its shares hit a one-month
low. 
    Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.6 percent, with Umm Al
Qura Cement the top gainer with a 9.9 percent leap
after reporting a significant rise in first-quarter net profit.
    Most Saudi cement producers gained for the second straight
day after strong first-quarter results, driven by higher selling
prices and volume.
    All 14 cement producers were trading in positive territory,
with Southern Province Cement adding 9.8 percent and
Northern Region Cement gaining 8.1 percent.
    There is a positive view on the cement sector due to
expectations of a rise in demand as construction picks up,
especially in mega projects, Riyad Capital's Muhammad Faisal
Potrik said. 
    Dubai's index slid 0.6 percent, with Emaar
Properties falling 3.3 percent to a one-month low as
the stock traded ex-dividend.
    Air Arabia slid 2 percent after the budget airline
said it is likely to order 100 or more Airbus or Boeing
 jets within the next three to four months.
    The Abu Dhabi index traded flat, reversing some early
losses. ADNOC Distribution, the fuel distribution arm
of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), gained 1.2 percent
after reporting a 6.6 percent rise in its first-quarter profit.
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) closed 1.8
percent lower on its first trading day as a new entity following
its three-way merger with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank
to create the third biggest bank in the UAE.
    ADCB touched a 13 year high as of Tuesday's close, ahead of
its effective merger date.
    "The combined bank will face operational challenges in the
beginning, so we prefer to stay on the side until we see a fully
operational entity," Tariq Qaqish, MD, Asset Management
Division, Mena Corp Financial Services said.
    "As medium to long term investors, we would wait and see the
outcome of the synergy kicking in," he added. 
    Qatar's blue-chip index edged up 0.2 percent, helped
by Doha Bank and Gulf International Services
gaining 2.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. The latter, a
drilling rig provider, posted higher first-quarter net profit. 
    Egypt and Bahrain's stock market was closed due to a public
holiday.

 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was up 0.6 pct at 9,362 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        ended flat at 5,258 points
 DUBAI         The index          fell 0.6 pct at 2,752 points
 QATAR         The index        added 0.2 pct at 10,400 points
 OMAN          The index        gained 0.5 pct at 3,966 points
 KUWAIT        The index        fell 0.1 pct at 6,044 points
 

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander
Smith)
  
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