* First Abu Dhabi Bank up in heavy trade
* TAQA falls on profit taking, state-utility increases stake
* Dubai supported by large caps
* Egypt up, may test Jan resistance
* Saudi near flat in very thin trade
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, April 4 Stock markets in the Middle East
rose on Tuesday with Abu Dhabi gaining the most, buoyed by heavy
trade in the shares of a newly merged bank while buying from
foreign funds boosted Egypt.
Shares of recently merged First Abu Dhabi Bank
jumped 4.8 percent in very heavy trade, helping lift Abu Dhabi's
index 1.8 percent.
Shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy, however,
retreated 5.3 percent as investors booked profits after they had
soared 24 percent since Sunday.
On Tuesday, TAQA said government-run utility company Abu
Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) has raised its stake
in the energy company to 74 percent from 52.38 percent.
Dubai's index extended on the 1.4 percent gains
made on Monday to add 0.6 percent supported by gains in large
and mid-sized shares.
Builder of the tallest tower in the world, Emaar Properties
added 1.2 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank
rose 1.8 percent.
In Qatar, the index rose 0.5 percent, recovering from
some of the small losses made earlier in the day. Shares of
Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan jumped 3.2 percent; on
Monday they fell 3.0 percent as its shares went ex-dividend.
But shares of Qatar International Islamic Bank
dropped 4.5 percent as they went ex-dividend on Tuesday.
Egypt's index added a further 1.6 percent to 13,265
points with a little over two-thirds of the shares closing
"Some positive momentum is building in the market again
mainly because of inflow from foreign funds, and the market may
test technical resistance at the January peak of 13,544 points,"
said a Cairo based technical trader.
Exchange data showed foreign funds were net buyers on
Tuesday by a wide margin. Stocks, favoured by those
international funds, outperformed with Commercial International
Bank adding 2.7 percent.
Palm Hills Development rose 1.3 percent. Analysts
at Prime Holding have increased their valuation of the company
by 14 percent mainly because of an appreciation in price of the
company's inventory and expected new unit launches.
The analysts also said they were positive on the short term
cash flow of the company although they are cautious on the
demand outlook, especially on the premium real estate market.
"A slowdown in sales activity is imminent and sooner than
expected, with second quarter 2017 marking the official slowdown
starting point in our view, as the current unit prices have
appreciated to the level of demand elasticity ignition," said
Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.3 percent in the
lowest daily traded volume since mid-September. Number of
gaining and declining shares were equal at 66.
Dairy and juice producer National Agriculture Development
jumped 4.0 percent, after it fell 2.1 percent the
The two listed real estate investment trusts - a security
which provides investors with an extremely liquid stake in real
estate - were some of the main laggards. Al Jazira REIT
lost 2.9 percent and was the worst performer on
Tuesday and Riyad REIT fell 1.8 percent.
* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 6,968 points.
* The index added 0.6 percent to 3,560 points.
* The index rose 1.8 percent to 4,549 points.
* The index edged up 0.5 percent to 10,392 points.
* The index added 0.2 percent to 7,016 points.
* The index rose 1.6 percent to 13,265 points.
* The index rose 0.5 percent to 5,623 points.
* The index edged up 0.05 percent to 1,349 points.
(Additional reporting Stanley Carvalho in Abu Dhabi; Editing by
Jon Boyle and David Evans)