July 30, 2018 / 12:56 PM / 17 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Property lifts Dubai, Saudi lacklustre on valuation concerns

* Emaar Malls' strong earnings boost Dubai property stocks

* Saudi flat as valuation concerns weigh on investors

* Industries Qatar supports Qatar index

By Saeed Azhar

DUBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - Strong earnings by Emaar Malls lifted Dubai shares and selective buying in top blue-chip companies helped Qatar rebound from early losses, as most Gulf markets ended in positive territory.

The region's biggest stock market, Saudi Arabia, ended flat as investors tried to digest quarterly earnings and were cautious about valuations for top companies after the index's nearly 15 percent rise so far this year.

The Dubai index ended 0.8 percent higher, supported by property stocks after Emaar Malls reported a 15 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, broadly in line with market forecasts..

Emaar Properties ended 1.3 percent higher and Emaar Malls gained 0.8 percent, although it gave up some early gains when it had jumped by over 2 percent. Rival DAMAC Properties also gained 1.8 percent .

The Qatar index rose 0.2 percent, helped by selective buying in Industries Qatar. which climbed 1.6 percent. Qatar National Bank also rose 0.7 percent.

The market recovered from early weakness when shares in telecommunications firm Ooredoo had plunged after reporting a 60 percent decline in second-quarter net profit a day earlier. Ooredoo ended the day 5 percent lower.

Weakness in banking stocks weighed on the Kuwaiti index , pushing it down by 0.5 percent. Kuwait Finance House fell 1.7 percent.

The stock is still up 14 percent so far this year, but has given up some gains in recent days as its merger talks with a rival Bahraini lender picks up pace.

Last week, advisors were named to assist Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank, Bahrain's largest lender during their merger talks, the first cross-border tie-up between Gulf banks in recent years at a time when several other banks are consolidating.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index was flat at 8,309 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 0.8 percent to 2,966 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 4,846 points.

QATAR

* The index was up 0.2 percent to 9,652 points.

KUWAIT

* The index was down 0.5 percent at 5,364 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was flat at 1,370 points.

OMAN

* The index ended 0.4 percent lower at 4,320 points.

EGYPT

* The index fell 0.5 percent to 15,297 points. (Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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