DUBAI, March 27 Stock markets in the Gulf edged
slightly lower in early lethargic trade on Monday as crude oil
prices remained near $50 a barrel and international markets were
The Saudi stock index was down 0.3 percent in the
first 25 minutes of trade. The number of declining shares
outnumbered advancing ones by 99 to 23.
The largest dairy producer, Almarai, fell 0.7
percent and United Wire Factories fell 2.2 percent as
they both went ex-dividend.
In Dubai, Emaar Malls fell 0.8 percent after the
company confirmed it was making an $800 million bid to acquire
e-commerce operator Souq.com.
It had already dropped 0.8 percent on Sunday in response to
a local media report revealing the bid, which could put Emaar
Malls in a bidding war with Amazon.com. Sources said
last week that the U.S. firm had agreed in principle to buy
Twenty-two other Dubai stocks also traded lower, dragging
the index down 0.7 percent. Emaar Properties,
which has an 84.6 percent stake in Emaar Malls, was down 1.1
Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.3 percent, weighed down by
an 8.5 percent plunge in shares of RAK Properties,
which went ex-dividend on Monday.
In Doha, the index edged down 0.2 percent with
commodities producer Industries Qatar dropping 1.8
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and