July 23, 2017 / 1:36 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Amlak boosts Dubai, Qatar pulls back from near pre-crisis level

* Amlak continues surging on DAMAC deal but ends off high

* Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank falls after quarterly earnings

* Qatari banks stall but Gulf International Services climbs

* Saudi's Alinma Bank, Arabian Shield rise after earnings

* Yamamah Cement sinks as quarterly profit, revenue plunge

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, July 23 (Reuters) - Islamic finance firm Amlak helped to boost Dubai's stock market on Sunday while Qatar pulled back after events at the weekend failed to point to progress in resolving the diplomatic crisis between Doha and neighbouring states.

The Dubai index added 0.6 percent as Amlak surged 3.6 percent to 1.16 dirhams, closing above its 200-day average for the first time since January, though it came far off its intra-day high of 1.24 dirhams. It was the market's most active stock; on Thursday, Amlak had soared 14.3 percent.

Traders attributed the rise to last week's announcement by real estate developer DAMAC that it was partnering with Amlak to sell second homes to customers. However, the partners gave no financial details, and many investors piled into the stock just because it had momentum. DAMAC rose 1.8 percent on Sunday.

Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.4 percent as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 1.2 percent. It reported a 10.4 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to 1.01 billion dirhams ($275.2 million); three analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 1.11 billion dirhams.

Qatar declined 0.5 percent as exchange data showed non-Arab foreign investors continuing to buy stocks on a net basis while Gulf investors cut their holdings further.

Last week, the Qatari index rebounded to within 4 percent of its close on June 4, just before Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha. Corporate earnings and macroeconomic data since then have shown the crisis is hurting its economy less than many had feared.

However, in a speech at the weekend, Qatar's emir called for dialogue but gave no clear sign of a fresh initiative to end the crisis. United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said Doha needed to change its policies towards terrorism before a dialogue could occur.

The banks which led last week's rally stalled on Sunday, with Qatar National Bank falling 1.3 percent. Gulf Warehousing dropped 1.8 percent after reporting a year-on-year rise of only 4 percent in first-half net profit.

But drilling rig provider Gulf International Services , the most active stock, rose 1.2 percent. Beaten down to multi-year lows by slumping oil and gas prices, it has been in an uptrend for the past three weeks, partly because of plans announced by Qatar to boost its gas production capacity.

Saudi Arabia's index was almost flat in thin trade. Alinma Bank, the most active stock, rose strongly for a third straight day after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings last week; it added 3.1 percent.

Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance surged 1.2 percent after reporting second-quarter net profit more than doubled. Arab National Bank climbed 0.9 percent after reporting a 4 percent rise in quarterly profit.

But Yamamah Cement dropped 2.2 percent after disclosing that second-quarter profit plunged to 12.2 million riyals ($3.3 million) from 116.3 million riyals a year earlier; sales also fell sharply.

Markets in Egypt and Oman were closed for public holidays.


* The index edged up 0.03 percent to 7,264 points.


* The index rose 0.6 percent to 3,596 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 4,535 points.


* The index dropped 0.5 percent to 9,500 points.


* The index rose 0.3 percent to 6,800 points.


* The index added 0.2 percent to 1,323 points. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Mark Potter)

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