March 29, 2017 / 2:20 PM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia outperforms in otherwise sluggish region

* Saudi perchems rise after oil price rebounds

* Builder Al Khodari up on credit line renewal

* Very thin trade in Dubai again

* Aldar main drag on Abu Dhabi as it goes ex-dividend

* Eastern Tobacco surges in Egypt

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, March 29 (Reuters) - A small rebound in the Brent crude oil price towards $52 a barrel helped lift Saudi Arabia's stock index on Wednesday, in an otherwise sluggish trading session in the region.

The Saudi index rose 1.1 percent to 6,949 points as almost three-quarters of traded stocks advanced. Petrochemical shares were particularly strong with all but one of the 14 listed producers gaining. Saudi Industrial Investment Group jumped its 10 percent daily limit in unusually heavy trade.

Builder Al Khodari climbed 1.2 percent after saying it had renewed its credit line of 373 million riyals ($99.5 million) with Alawwal Bank to help it finance working capital. Alwwal added 1.9 percent, with most of its banking peers also gaining.

Dubai's index closed flat in very thin trade with decliners outnumbering gainers 17 to 12. GFH Financial Group , the most heavily traded stock, dropped 4.1 percent but builder Arabtec added 1.3 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties slumped 6.2 percent as the largest listed real estate developer went ex-dividend, dragging the market index 0.8 percent lower.

But Abu Dhabi National Energy added 2.2 percent ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings, which are expected to be reported on Thursday.

In Egypt, the index closed flat with declining shares outnumbering gainers 21 to nine. Eastern Tobacco jumped 5.0 percent to 215 Egyptian pounds; in a report, AlphaMena rated the stock a "buy" with a six-month target price of 268 points.

WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index added 1.1 percent to 6,949 points.

DUBAI

* The index flat at 3,447 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index fell 0.8 percent to 4,436 points.

QATAR

* The index lost 0.4 percent to 10,417 points.

KUWAIT

* The index declined 0.6 percent to 7,008 points.

EGYPT

* The index was flat at 12,988 points.

OMAN

* The index added 0.2 percent to 5,554 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,380 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia and Richard Lough

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