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MIDEAST STOCKS-Firm oil boosts Saudi, Kuwait rebounds but Egypt slips
February 12, 2017 / 2:22 PM / in 8 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Firm oil boosts Saudi, Kuwait rebounds but Egypt slips

* Petrochemical, banking shares lift Saudi

* Kingdom Holding gains on profit form Disney share swap

* Dubai-listed GFH climbs after unit raises $50 mln in new fund

* Arabtec down before Q4 results

* Kuwait rebounds but NREC, Agility down on convertible deal

* Egypt retreats on profit booking

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Petrochemical and banking shares boosted Saudi Arabia’s bourse on Sunday after oil prices firmed at the end of last week, while small and mid-sized stocks were the main movers on other Gulf markets.

Saudi Arabia’s index added 0.8 percent with nearly three-quarters of the 14 listed Saudi petrochemical shares advancing, after Brent oil futures closed 1.9 percent higher at $56.70 a barrel on Friday. Saudi Industrial Investment was the top gainer in the sector, jumping 5.5 percent.

The positive mood spilled into other sectors, with banking shares also advancing. Saudi British Bank climbed 3.8 percent.

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding rose 2.2 percent after it traded 90 percent of its shares in Euro Disney into Walt Disney Co stock, gaining a net profit of $61 million in the deal.

Dubai’s main index added 0.5 percent on the back of an 8.6 percent jump in Dubai Financial Market (DFM). Last week, DFM reported its fourth-quarter net profit had jumped 5 times from the prior-year period.

GFH Financial Group climbed 5.3 percent after the Bahrain-based company announced that one of its subsidiaries had raised $50 million for one of its funds and the financial impact was expected to be reflected in first-quarter results.

Dubai Investment added 1.6 percent after a subsidiary acquired a 153,000 square foot (14,214 square metre) shopping centre in Ventura, California. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.

But shares in builder Arabtec lost 2.2 percent ahead of quarterly results expected to be announced on Monday.

After the market close on Sunday Reuters reported, quoting unnamed sources, that Arabtec was working with boutique investment bank Moelis to study options for the company’s capital structure. A mandate for restructuring advisory firm AlixPartners to reduce overheads for the loss-making builder was completed at the end of last year.

In Abu Dhabi, RAK Properties gained 1.3 percent after its full-year net profit rose 9.2 percent and revenue in 2016 came in 6 percent higher.

But the Abu Dhabi index closed near flat as blue- chip banks capped gains. National Bank of Abu Dhabi fell 1.4 percent.

Kuwait’s index rebounded 0.8 percent in heavy volume, recovering most of Thursday’s losses. Jazeera Airways rose 1.5 percent after the board recommended a cash dividend of 35 fils per share. The airline reported a drop of 29.9 percent in 2016 full-year net profit.

National Real Estate, however, lost 5.3 percent after it signed to obtain a $101.5 million, five-year convertible loan from a subsidiary of Agility. The loan has the option of conversion into NREC shares before maturity. Agility slumped 7.1 percent.

In Egypt, the main index retreated 1.5 percent to 12,922 points, pulling away from resistance on its record high of 13,544 points, hit last month.

Arabian Cement lost 4.9 percent. Analysts at Cairo’s Naeem Brokerage said the company might see some pricing pressure in the first quarter of 2017 but the longer-term demand outlook for cement remained healthy.

SUNDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.8 percent to 7,022 points.

DUBAI

* The index added 0.5 percent to 3,702 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.02 percent to 4,570 points.

QATAR

* The index gained 0.3 percent to 10,663 points.

EGYPT

* The index lost 1.5 percent to 12,922 points.

KUWAIT

* The index added 0.8 percent to 6,637 points.

OMAN

* The index edged down 0.02 percent to 5,819 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index inched up 0.2 percent to 1,309 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia and Stephen Powell

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