May 22, 2019 / 1:35 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials, property elevate Dubai, most of Gulf up

    * All real estate firms gain in Dubai
    * Saudi's Arabian Centres slides in market debut
    * Lender FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi
    * El Sewedy continues to gain on new firm establishment

    By Ateeq Shariff
    May 22 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market rose sharply on
Wednesday, buoyed by financial and real estate shares, to lead
gains in most major Gulf bourses.   
    Dubai's index closed 1.8% higher with all its real
estate shares gaining. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties
 added 2.6% and market heavyweight lender Emirates NBD
 was up 2.8%.
    Locals and foreigners bought selectively on the Dubai
Financial Market, especially in the real estate and construction
space, said Harsh Oza, vice president for research at Shuaa
    "The sector has underperformed the broader market over the
past one month. The newly announced residency visa initiative by
UAE seems to be the factor behind the real estate stock rally,"
he added.
    The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that it will grant
6,800 foreign investors permanent residency under a new "Golden
Card" system after they invested a combined 100 billion dirhams
($27.23 billion) in the Gulf state.
    Arabtec Holding continued rebounding and jumped
5.6% after on Tuesday it snapped four straight sessions of
losses on weak first-quarter earnings.
    Saudi's index increased 0.5%. Dar Al Arkan Real
Estate Development soared 7.9% and Sahara
International Petrochemical surged 5.6%, extending its
gains from Tuesday when it completed the merger of equals with
Sahara Petrochemical, which delisted on May 20.
    However, Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres
 fell 3.9% to 25 riyals from its initial public offer
price of 26 riyals.
    Arabian Centres' share sale, which raised 2.47 billion
riyals ($658.65 million), was the kingdom's third biggest since
Saudi lender National Commercial Bank raised $6
billion in 2014, according to Refinitiv data.
    Qatar's index gained 0.6% with blue-chip
petrochemical maker Industries Qatar trading 1.4%
    Gulf International Services hiked 5.1% after its
unit Al Koot Insurance And Reinsurance signed a two-year deal
with Qatar Airways to provide health care services.
    The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.7% led by a 1.7% drop
in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender.
    The lender has mostly fallen in recent sessions after MSCI
decided to maintain its foreign inclusion factor at 25%, despite
a recent foreign ownership limit increase to 40% from 25%.
    Egypt's blue-chip index inched up 0.4% as Egypt
Kuwait Holding rose 3.9%. Last week, the firm reported
a higher first-quarter profit.
    El Sewedy Electric hiked 2.4% after saying on
Tuesday it had partnered with General Authority For Suez Canal
Economic Zone to establish a new company with issued capital of
1 billion Egyptian pounds  ($59.17 million), in which the firm
will own 49%.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 0.5% to 8,656 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        fell 0.7% to 4,750 points
 DUBAI         The index          added 1.8% to 2,584 points
 QATAR         The index        gained 0.6% to 9,758 points
 EGYPT         The index          was up 0.4% at 13,664
 BAHRAIN       The index        edged up 0.1% to 1,411
 OMAN          The index        closed 0.5% higher to 3,861
 KUWAIT        The index        increased 0.1% to 6,063
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 16.9000 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;
Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
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