July 10, 2019 / 1:17 PM / 11 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Property firms bolster Dubai, oil prices lift Saudi

    * Emaar Properties highest since May
    * Aldaar Properties up on government projects
    * Nine of 11 Saudi banks gain
    * Qatar's QNB posts 4% rise in H1 profit
    * Kuwait surges for tenth day

    By Ateeq Shariff
    July 10 (Reuters) - Dubai stocks rose sharply on Wednesday
as all real estate shares gained, while banks drove the Saudi
market higher amid rising oil prices and after EFG Hermes
forecast higher second quarter profit for Saudi lenders.
    Oil prices rose more than 2% after industry data showed U.S.
inventories fell more than expected and as major U.S. producers
evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico before a storm.

    The Dubai index closed 1.2% higher with Emaar
Properties, its largest listed-developer, surging 3.5%
to its highest in two months.
    Emaar Properties has been rising since Monday after its
Egyptian subsidiary Emaar Misr Development initially
agreed with El Nasr Housing and Development to settle a dispute
on Uptown Cairo land.
    The Saudi index added 0.6% with Al Rajhi Bank
 rising 0.7% and National Commercial Bank
increasing 1.4%.
    Investment bank EFG Hermes predicted 7.6% growth
year-on-year in second quarter profit for the kingdom's
financial sector.
    The kingdom's largest food products company Savola Group
 moved 0.8% up. On Tuesday, the firm said it had raised
1 billion riyals ($266.65 million) in Islamic bonds.

    In Qatar, the index increased 0.5% with Qatar
National Bank adding 1.7%. The Gulf's largest lender
posted a 4% increase in first-half net profit after the market
closed.
    Kuwait's index was up 0.6%, continuing its winning
streak for the 10th straight session triggered by an MSCI
decision that it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main
emerging market index in 2020.
    Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of
the MSCI move, gaining over 28% year-to-date.
    The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, led by a 1.2% rise
in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and a 2% increase in
Aldar Properties.
    The latter was awarded 5 billion dirhams ($1.36 billion) of
development projects from the Abu Dhabi government.
    Bank of Sharjah bounced back 5.5%, ending three
straight sessions of losses set off after posting a steep fall
in first-quarter profit.
    Egypt's blue-chip index declined 0.6% with Eastern
Company dropping 2.3%, while Ezz Steel
plunged 9.7% after earlier this week swinging into first quarter
loss.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         increased 0.6% to 8,906 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        edged up 0.1% to 5,027 points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 1.2% to 2,687 points
 QATAR         The index        added 0.5% to 10,551 points
 EGYPT         The index          down 0.6% to 14,013 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        gained 0.1% to 1,540 points
 OMAN          The index        declined 0.3% to 3,813 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 0.6% at 6,767 points
 ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
($1 = 3.7503 riyals)
($1 = 16.6125 Egyptian pounds)

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