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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses recover, Egypt rebounds as foreign funds buy
March 23, 2017 / 2:04 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses recover, Egypt rebounds as foreign funds buy

* Saudi insurers, petrochemicals recover

* Foreign funds net buyers in Egypt

* Dubai’s Drake & Scull up on major asset sale

* Abu Dhabi sees lowest volume since December

* Kuwait extends gains

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, March 23 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf made small gains on Thursday, recovering some of the week’s losses, but trading volumes remained very low. Egypt rebounded as foreign funds bought shares there.

The Saudi stock index climbed 0.7 percent as the petrochemical sector regained 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 four of the 35 listed insurers advancing. Buruj Cooperative Insurance jumped 9.3 percent and was the top performer on the exchange.

Egypt’s index climbed 1.2 percent with trading volume nearly doubling from the previous session as foreign funds were net buyers of equities, exchange data showed.

The top two gainers in that index were private equity firm Qalaa Holdings, which jumped 6.8 percent, and investment firm EFG Hermes, up 4.2 percent.

Dubai builder Drake & Scull climbed 2.2 percent after it sold its ownership stake in a Dubai development project, One Palm, to Omniyat Properties, its partner in the scheme. 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 the fourth quarter of 2016.

A 1.1 percent decline in shares of heavyweight Emaar Properties dragged on Dubai’s index, which fell 0.4 percent.

ENBD REIT, the second real estate investment trust to list in Dubai and the first equity instrument to list since an exchange-traded fund in June 2016, traded at $1.17 on its first day on NASDAQ Dubai, up from its initial public offer price of $1.11. Volume was tiny.

Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.3 percent but saw its lowest daily volume since mid-December. Dana Gas rose 2.3 percent.

In Qatar, the index advanced 0.5 percent with 70 percent of traded shares gaining. Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan was the top performer, climbing 2.8 percent.

Kuwait’s index, which had jumped 2.0 percent on Wednesday, added a further 0.3 percent with trading volume staying very high. The largest logistics company in the Gulf, Agility, jumped 3.2 percent.

THURSDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index added 0.7 percent to 6,879 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.4 percent at 3,461 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.3 percent to 4,495 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.5 percent to 10,445 points.

KUWAIT

* The index gained 0.3 percent to 7,043 points.

EGYPT

* The index rebounded 1.2 percent to 13,032 points.

OMAN

* The index added 0.3 percent to 5,635 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.6 percent to 1,376 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Heavens

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