September 5, 2019 / 1:41 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emirates NBD's gains support Dubai, Egypt up on financials

    * Emirates NBD extends rally on foreign ownership
    * All but one property shares slide in Dubai
    * Emaar falls for the third straight session
    * Financials strong in Egypt

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Sept 5 (Reuters) - The Dubai stock market rose on Thursday,
mainly helped by its largest lender Emirates NBD,
while Egypt rebounded on the back of financials.
    Dubai's index closed 0.4% up, with Emirates NBD
increasing 1.5% and Dubai Islamic Bank, the United
Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant lender, adding 0.6%.   
Emirates NBD has been rising since Monday after it raised its
foreign ownership limit to 20% from 5%. 
    But developers capped the gains with Emaar Properties
, the emirate's largest listed developer, sliding 0.8%
extending losses for a third day in a row.
    The realtor's chairman said on Wednesday he did not expect a
change in the company's business after Dubai's ruler set up a
new real estate committee to regulate and control market supply.

    Dubai's property prices have contracted by 25-35% since a
mid-2014 peak and will continue to decline sharply this year and
next, as a slowdown in the economy and an oversupply of housing
units pose big downside risks to already weak outlook of real
estate sector in the Emirate, a Reuters poll showed.

    The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.6% with its
biggest bank, Commercial International Bank, rising 
1.6%, while Eastern Company advancing 3.3%.
    Last month, Egypt reported its lowest headline inflation
rate in nearly four years, and its central bank cut interest
rates by 150 basis points on Thursday.
    Egypt's index is up 14.6% so far this year, beating most
regional markets.
    The Saudi index slipped 0.1%, driven down by a 0.9%
fall in market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries and
a 1% drop in Saudi Telecom Company.
     Saudi Arabia may have to revise down economic growth
estimates as lower crude output and tumbling oil prices take
their toll on economic activity, with some economists
forecasting a contraction this year in the world's biggest oil
exporter, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
    The Saudi central bank forecast economic growth of at least
2% this year but economists now expect marginal growth at best
or a slight shrinkage, its second in two years.
    The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.2% as Abu Dhabi Commercial
Bank ended 1.5% lower.
    Qatar's index also ended lower to close at 0.4% down
with Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender by
assets, falling 1.2% and Qatar Islamic Bank down 1%.  
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         slipped 0.1% to 8,055 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.2% to 5,114 points
 DUBAI         The index          gained 0.4% to 2,891 points
 QATAR         The index        slid 0.4% to 10,253 points
 EGYPT         The index          up 0.6% to 14,933 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        added 0.6% to 1,551 points
 OMAN          The index        dropped 0.3% to 3,998 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was flat at 6,547 points
 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru)
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