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MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips lift most of Gulf, Dana surges again, Egypt at new high
June 1, 2017 / 2:05 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips lift most of Gulf, Dana surges again, Egypt at new high

* Dana Gas boosted by hope for payments from Iraqi Kurdistan

* Emaar Properties, Emaar Malls support Dubai

* DAMAC down on first day of MSCI inclusion

* Qatar up but worst performer over week

* Local, foreign funds buy Egyptian banks, property developers

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, June 1 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas was buoyed for a second day on Thursday by hopes for payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), while blue chips rose in most other Middle Eastern markets and Egypt's index closed at a record high.

Dana jumped 7.3 percent, following Wednesday's 5.1 percent jump, after news that Pearl Petroleum, a consortium involving Dana, had applied to a U.S. District Court for recognition and enforcement of awards made at the London Court of International Arbitration against the KRG.

The KRG has resisted legal efforts to make it pay Pearl for years and it was not clear if the latest legal action would have a different result.

A rebound in shares of blue chips also helped lift the Abu Dhabi index 1.2 percent after it fell 1.7 percent on Wednesday. First Abu Dhabi Bank advanced 1.4 percent.

Dubai's index added 0.4 percent as shares favoured by foreign funds rose. Emaar Properties climbed 1.0 percent and its retail arm Emaar Malls gained 2.0 percent.

DAMAC Properties fell back 3.0 percent. It had climbed 3.5 percent on Wednesday as passive funds flowed into the stock ahead of its inclusion in MSCI's emerging market index on Thursday.

A monthly Reuters poll of regional asset managers, published on Wednesday, found they had turned bearish on United Arab Emirates shares for the next three months, citing weak trading volumes and financial pressures on some companies.

Qatar's index inched up 0.4 percent, recovering slightly from Wednesday's large loss, but was still the week's worst performer in the region, down 1.5 percent.

The index has been under pressure since last week's news that Ezdan Holding, one of the largest listed shares, had received preliminary approval from shareholders to delist. Ezdan, which is no longer part of the index, rebounded 4.7 percent on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia's index slipped 0.1 percent in the final hour of trade. It was almost flat for the week in very thin trade, as activity was limited by the fasting month of Ramadan.

Banque Saudi Fransi dropped 2.5 percent on profit- taking after two days of strong gains but dairy producer Almarai added 0.6 percent to a fresh all-time high.

In Cairo, the index climbed 1.0 percent to a fresh record closing high of 13,467 points.

Banking shares and real estate developers were some of the chief gainers with Commercial International Bank adding 1.0 percent to an all-time high of 83.60 Egyptian pounds and real estate firm Talaat Mostafa Group adding 1.8 percent.

The Reuters poll found fund managers were on balance bullish toward Egyptian shares, saying the central bank's surprise interest rate hike last month was positive for some sectors, including banks.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.1 percent to 6,864 points.

DUBAI

* The index added 0.4 percent to 3,352 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index rebounded 1.2 percent to 4,479 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 9,940 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 1.0 percent to 13,467 points.

KUWAIT

* The index added 0.4 percent to 6,813 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index climbed 0.4 percent to 1,325 points.

OMAN

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 5,435 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Jon Boyle)

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