June 7, 2017 / 8:22 AM / in 2 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar stabilises on valuations, Dubai's Emaar jumps on unit's IPO plan

3 Min Read

DUBAI, June 7 (Reuters) - Qatari shares that are members of global emerging market benchmarks helped stabilise the bourse in early trade on Wednesday, while Dubai's Emaar Properties jumped on news it will launch an initial public offering of its local real estate unit.

Qatar's stock index was roughly flat after plummeting 8.7 percent over the last two days when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties, accusing Doha of backing terrorism.

"From a valuation perspective, there is now a good buying opportunity in some companies," one regional brokerage firm told its clients. Reflecting the political tensions, it did not want to be publicly named.

Telecommunications firm Ooredoo, for example, rose 0.9 percent to 95.40 riyals; the mean target price of 11 analysts is 114 riyals, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Tensions are still high and mediation efforts by fellow Gulf Cooperation Council state Kuwait have yet to lead to a concrete solution, so investors will likely remain on edge and the longer it takes for a resolution, the longer it will take for the (Qatari) market to heal," said a Dubai-based trader.

In Dubai, shares of the largest listed real estate developer Emaar Properties surged 6.4 percent after it said it plans to offer up to 30 percent of its United Arab Emirates real estate development business in an initial public offer. Subject to market conditions, funds raised through the IPO would be distributed to shareholders of Emaar.

The company said the IPO would be Dubai's largest since its flotation of Emaar Malls, which raised 5.8 billion dirhams ($1.58 billion) in 2014 and was heavily oversubscribed. The Dubai stock index was up 1.3 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas was up 2.2 percent after the company said it had received $40 million from the Egyptian government towards its outstanding receivables; its current receivables balance in Egypt now stands at $187 million.

Most banks were also up, with First Abu Dhabi Bank up 0.9 percent.

Saudi Arabia's index barely moved with 29 shares rising and 28 falling in the first half-hour of trade. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Adrian Croft)

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