March 26, 2018 / 2:10 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks muted, Saudi bourse closes up despite missile attacks

* Saudi's Ma'aden, Advanced Petrochemical pull in foreign funds

* Middle East Healthcare climbs after Q4 earnings beat

* Dubai's Emaar recovers slightly from 21-month low

* First Abu Dhabi Bank reaches historic high

* Qalaa Holdings continues surge in Egypt

By Tom Arnold

DUBAI, March 26 (Reuters) - Middle Eastern stocks were mixed on Monday with investors in Saudi Arabia largely ignoring an apparent escalation in the country's three-year war with Yemen, after the conflict caused its first civilian death within Riyadh.

The kingdom's air defences shot down seven ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi forces late on Sunday, and debris killed an Egyptian resident of Riyadh.

After initially slipping as much as 0.6 percent, Saudi Arabia's main index recovered to close 0.2 percent higher.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) was one of the main contributors to the rise, climbing 1.8 percent. Another blue chip, Advanced Petrochemical Co, rose 4.6 percent; it will go ex-dividend on April 1.

Foreign funds have been flowing into Ma'aden and other Saudi stocks in anticipation of Riyadh's expected entry into emerging market indexes late this year and next.

Middle East Healthcare climbed 3.3 percent after the company posted fourth-quarter net profit of 77.9 million riyals ($20.8 million), beating SICO Bahrain's forecast of 63.7 million riyals.

In Dubai, bellwether Emaar Properties was one of the main market movers, finishing 1.2 percent up. It had dropped 2.7 percent to a 21-month closing low on Sunday beecause of concern about the outlook for the local property market.

Still, Dubai's index stock index closed 0.4 percent lower, with theme park operator DXB Entertainments finishing 2.7 percent lower. The company reported a 1.12 billion dirham ($305 million) loss for last year after struggling to meet its initial targets for visitor numbers.

The Qatari index lost 0.5 percent with Qatar First Bank the most heavily traded stock for a second day running. It closed 0.4 percent lower.

In Abu Dhabi, First Abu Dhabi gained 2.6 percent to its highest level since the stock began trading on the Abu Dhabi bourse on April 1, 2017 after the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank.

The Egyptian index closed 0.7 percent higher with investment firm Qalaa Holdings the largest gainer, rising 10.0 percent. The stock, which traded near record lows last year, has gained around 59 percent over the past month.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 7,857 points.

DUBAI

* The index was down 0.4 percent to 3,104 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index was up 0.8 percent to 4,651 points.

QATAR

* The index shed 0.5 percent to 8,712 points.

EGYPT

* The index gained 0.7 percent to 1,7104 points.

KUWAIT

* The index was down 0.1 percent to 6,624 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index fell 0.7 percent to 1,326 points.

OMAN

* The index dropped 0.9 percent to 4,758 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia/Mark Heinrich)

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