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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi outperforms in mostly flat region; Dubai's DSI up on asset sale
March 23, 2017 / 7:34 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi outperforms in mostly flat region; Dubai's DSI up on asset sale

DUBAI, March 23 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market outperformed the region in early trade on Thursday, recovering some of the previous session’s losses, while in Dubai builder Drake & Scull climbed after it agreed to sell a major asset.

The Saudi stock index was up 0.5 percent after 15 minutes of trade as the petrochemical sector recovered some of the previous session’s heavy losses, after Brent oil bounced from a four-month low hit on Wednesday. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical rose 1.3 percent.

The insurance sector, which has been very volatile in recent days, also firmed with all but three of the 35 listed insurers advancing. Solidarity Saudi Takaful rose 1.4 percent.

In Dubai, Drake & Scull climbed 2.9 percent after it sold its ownership stake in a Dubai development project, One Palm, to Omniyat Properties, its partner on that project. The value of the sale was not disclosed.

DSI said the transaction was an important milestone in its turnaround and capital restructuring plan initiated in fourth quarter of 2016.

But a 1.1 percent decline in shares of heavyweight Emaar Properties was dragged on Dubai’s index, which was down 0.1 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.1 percent in very thin trade. Large-cap Aldar Properties fell 0.8 percent.

Doha’s index was flat. Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan added 1.3 percent but telecommunications operator Ooredoo lost 2.5 percent as it went ex-dividend.

Kuwait’s index, which had jumped 2.0 percent on Wednesday, was flat. Boubyan Bank climbed 2.5 percent but telecommunications provider Zain fell 1.1 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Gareth Jones)

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