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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt's EFG, TMGH diverge on MSCI changes; Gulf firm with oil at $52
May 16, 2017 / 2:26 PM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt's EFG, TMGH diverge on MSCI changes; Gulf firm with oil at $52

* EFG Hermes surges on MSCI upgrade to Egypt index

* TMGH slumps on downgrade to small cap

* Dubai’s DSI tumbles on Q1 net loss

* Banking shares support Abu Dhabi

* Saudi firms as oil above $50 revives trading volume

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, May 16 (Reuters) - Shares of Egypt’s EFG Hermes and Talaat Mostafa diverged sharply on Tuesday on news that MSCI will swap the shares in its main Egyptian index, while Gulf equity markets were firm with the Brent oil price at $52 a barrel.

Overnight, MSCI said it would include investment bank EFG Hermes in its MSCI Egypt Index but remove real estate developer Talaat Mostafa Group, downgrading it to the small-cap index. The changes will take effect on June 1.

EFG, which on Monday reported a near-tripling of first quarter net income and a more than doubling of operating revenue, surged 8.8 percent while TMGH slumped 9.8 percent.

Arqaam Capital analysts predicted passive net fund inflows of $33 million into EFG due to the index change and a net outflow of $21 million for TMGH.

The main Egyptian stock index rose 0.6 percent in the heaviest trading volumes since mid-January.

In Dubai, builder DSI slumped 5 percent to 0.362 dirham, a 15-month low, after it reported a first-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of 722.5 million dirhams versus a profit of 9.8 million dirhams in the year-ago period.

The company is in the middle of a capital restructuring plan to wipe out its accumulated losses, and has said it expects to receive a capital injection of 500 million dirhams from a Dubai-based strategic investor by mid-2017.

DAMAC rose 2.9 percent after MSCI said it would add the stock to its United Arab Emirates index. Arqaam estimated the inclusion would bring $68 million of passive fund inflows.

Dubai’s stock index closed almost flat.

Banking shares were some of the top gainers in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, helping lift the index 0.4 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.1 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, the index gained 0.7 percent in the heaviest trade since mid-January.

“At the start of the month, when oil was below $50, daily traded volume was low - now there is slightly more confidence so there is more activity, but I don’t expect that to hold as the holy month of Ramadan traditionally sees low volumes,” said one Kuwait-based stock broker. Ramadan starts around May 27.

Shares in construction firm Al Khodari jumped 10 percent - the daily limit - in heavy trade. One analyst said this might be a result of the company receiving overdue payments from the government, which is Khodari’s main client.

The petrochemical sector was mixed, with smaller companies outperforming larger ones. Analysts at NCB Capital said the sector’s bottom line in the first quarter almost doubled from a year ago and revenue rose by about 16 percent. Many stocks, however, are trading near fair value, leaving investors with little incentive to buy despite a recent rebound in oil prices.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.7 percent to 6,940 points.

DUBAI

* The index edges down 0.03 percent to 3,377 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index added 0.4 percent to 4,582 points.

QATAR

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 10,125 points.

EGYPT

* The index added 0.6 percent to 12,937 points.

KUWAIT

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 6,725 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index gained 0.1 percent to 1,314 points.

OMAN

* The index edged up 0.3 percent to 5,433 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia

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