July 2, 2019 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks halt Saudi gains, MSCI upgrade keeps Kuwait gaining

    * Saudi ends five days of gains
    * 10 of 11 Saudi banks fall
    * Pioneers Holding climb on offer for unit
    * Qalaa Holdings gains on smaller Q1 loss
    * Kuwait rises for a fourth day

    By Shakeel Ahmad
    July 2 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market snapped a
five-day winning streak on Tuesday as most banks dropped, while
Kuwait rose for a fourth straight session after MSCI announced
it would upgrade Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-markets
index.
    The Saudi index was down 0.2% with Al Rajhi Bank
 shedding 0.7% and Samba Financial Group falling 1.5%.
    That comes after five days of gains, and the index is still
up 12.6% this year, led by foreign investors. 
    Saudi exchange data released late on Monday showed
foreigners bought a net 16.16 billion riyals  ($4.31 billion)
worth of Saudi stocks last month.
    Three of five tranches of Saudi stocks have joined the FTSE
emerging-market index this year and completed the first phase of
joining the MSCI emerging-market benchmark in May. A second
phase is due in August.
    Kuwait's index rose 1%. Last week, index compiler
MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main
emerging-markets index in 2020, a move that could trigger
billions of dollars of inflows.
    Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of
the MSCI move, gaining 22.5% year-to-date.
    Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing their
investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll
found earlier this week.
    Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.3% with Pioneers
Holding Company for Financial Investments gaining 3.5%
after unit Arab Dairy Products received an acquisition
offer from GC Equity Partners Fund.
    Private equity firm Qalaa Holdings edged up 0.3%
after posting a narrower first-quarter loss. 
    Qatar's index edged up 0.2% with banks leading the
way. Qatar Islamic Bank advanced 1.2% and Doha Bank
 leapt 4.3%.  
    The index has gained in recent sessions as a 10-to-one stock
split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June
9 and will be completed by July 7. The move has been designed to
boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares.
    In Dubai, the index was up 0.2%, lifted in part by
a 0.7% rise in market heavyweight developer Emaar Properties
. It said Dubai Aerospace Enterprise had bought back
the company's shares for $107 million.
    Emaar Malls gained 0.5%. The firm said Chief
Executive Officer Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne had resigned and
Natalie Bogdanova was taking over the role.
    The Abu Dhabi index traded flat with Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank adding 0.6%.
    
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)
 SAUDI       The index         fell 0.2% to 8,834 points
 ARABIA      
 ABU DHABI   The index        traded flat at 4,979 points
 DUBAI       The index          rose 0.2% to 2,679 points
 QATAR       The index        was up 0.2% at 10,578 points
 EGYPT       The index          rose 0.3% to 14,137 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        rose 1% to 1,490 points
 OMAN        The index        fell 0.5% to 3,859 points
 KUWAIT      The index        rose 1% to 6,453 points
 

 (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Heinrich)
  
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