* Saudi petrochemicals lead index higher
* Telcos diverge with Zain jumping but STC, Mobily sliding
* Builder Alkhodari gains after winning contract from
* Egypt gains for third session as investors ready for IMF
* UAE indexes trail with Dubai down
* Kuwait's NIC jumps after appointment to execute Americana
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, Oct 5 Saudi Arabia's petrochemical stocks
rallied on Wednesday after Brent crude oil firmed over $51 a
barrel, while Egypt climbed for a third straight session as
investors anticipated approval of its International Monetary
Fund loan programme.
Riyadh's stock index closed up 1.1 percent as the
petrochemical sub-index rose 3.4 percent with all 14
listed producers advancing. Yanbu National Petrochemicals
(Yansab) jumped 5.9 percent to 46.80 riyals and
National Petrochemical surged 8.2 percent to 15.15
Analysts at NCB Capital said in a note that Yansab was one
of their top picks in the sector because of superior efficiency
and low debt levels. They maintained an "overweight" rating on
the stock with a price target of 50.40 riyals.
Analysts at Bahrain's SICO said: "Yansab is in a strong
position as it is now a 'cash cow' with no near-term large capex
requirements. Double-digit cash flow yield should support the
high single-digit dividend yield." They rate the stock a "buy"
with a target of 53.00 riyals.
NCB also upgraded National Petrochemical to "overweight"
with a price target of 17.30 riyals, citing greater efficiency
following a two-month shutdown and attractive valuations. SICO
upgraded the stock too, to "buy" with a target of 19.00 riyals.
Saudi Arabia's three top telecommunications stocks were
mixed in a second straight session of heavy trade after the
government said it would provide operators with "unified
licences" allowing them to offer a full range of services.
Zain Saudi rose 4.7 percent, taking its gain over
two days to 14.8 percent. Its chief competitor Saudi Telecom
retreated 2.3 percent and Mobily fell 0.8
Builder Al Khodari jumped 4.0 percent in active
trade after it said it had signed a contract with miner Ma'aden
to construct an aluminium producing facility for 49
million riyals ($13.1 million).
In Egypt, the index of the 30 most valuable shares
gained 2.1 percent, taking its rise for the week to 6.2 percent.
Egyptian Resorts was the top gainer in the index,
jumping 5.5 percent.
Many investors think Egypt's $12 billion IMF loan programme
may be finalised in the next few weeks. Egypt's deputy finance
minister told Reuters on Wednesday the IMF would discuss Egypt's
loan at a "future" executive board meeting, not at its annual
meeting this week.
Dubai's index pulled back 1.3 percent to 3,362
points, its lowest close in 12 weeks. It turned technically
bearish on Monday when it broke technical support on the August
and September lows of 3,430-3,442 points, which became immediate
resistance. Losers outnumbered gainers 23 to three.
Builder Drake and Scull dropped 3.8 percent and DXB
Entertainments, which is due to open its theme parks
in Dubai this month, lost 1.3 percent.
Banks weighed on Abu Dhabi's stock index, which
closed 0.4 percent lower. Union National Bank retreated
3.7 percent and First Gulf Bank lost 0.9 percent.
Qatar's index edged down 0.2 percent. Mobile operator
Ooredoo led the falls, closing down 0.8 percent.
Kuwait's National Investments Co jumped 5.7
percent after it said it was appointed to execute the purchase
of a majority stake in Kuwait Food Co on behalf of one
of its clients. Kuwait Food rose 0.8 percent, and the general
market index edged up 0.04 percent.
* The index gained 1.1 percent to 5,585 points.
* The index fell 1.3 percent to 3,362 points.
* The index edged down 0.4 percent to 4,394 points.
* The index gained 2.1 percent to 8,369 points.
* The index fell 0.2 percent to 10,372 points.
* The index lost 0.4 percent to 1,139 points.
* The index added 0.04 percent to 5,355 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,616 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia and Mark Potter)