April 14, 2019 / 2:18 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hits multi-year on FAB foreign ownership change

    DUBAI, April 14 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi stocks closed
up 2.4 percent on Sunday, reaching a four-and-a-half year high
as First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) surged after it obtained
regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit. 
    Other Gulf markets were weak.
    Foreigners will be allowed to own as much as 40 percent of
FAB stock, up from a previous limit of 25 percent, lifting FAB
shares by almost 5 percent.
    FAB shares closed at 15.58 UAE dirhams ($4.24), their
highest since May 2014. The index ended at 5,174 points, its
highest since September 2014.
    Dubai shares were flat on weakness in Emaar
Properties, which was down 1.2 percent. 
    Shares of Emirates NBD rose 1.7 percent however
after the bank said it had sold more shares in the London
initial public offering of Network International after
exercising a greenshoe option.
    Saudi stocks made a lacklustre start to the week as
financial shares fell on profit-taking after robust gains in the
Gulf region's biggest stock market this year.
    The index ended 0.4 percent lower, with Al Rajhi Bank
 down 0.6 percent and Samba Financial Group
down 1.3 percent.
    It is still up almost 16 percent so far this year, fuelled
by an increase in foreign fund flows as it entered the FTSE
Russell's emerging market index on March 18.
    Qatari stocks were down 0.2 percent, pressured by a
0.9 percent drop in market heavyweight Industries Qatar
 and a 1.3 percent fall in Qatar Insurance Co.
    Across the rest of the Gulf, Bahrain stocks were up
0.5 percent, while Kuwait's market was flat. Egypt's market was
down 0.2 percent. 
    ($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was down 0.4 pct to 9,055
 ABU DHABI     The index        added 2.4 pct to 5,174 points
 DUBAI         The index          fell 0.1 pct to 2,788
 QATAR         The index        was down 0.2 pct to 10,236
 EGYPT         The index          lost 0.2 pct to 15069
 BAHRAIN       The index        gained 0.5 pct to 1,445
 OMAN          The index        was up 0.2 pct at 3991 points
 KUWAIT        The index        lost 0.1 pct to 6,123 points 
 (Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Jan
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