April 30, 2018 / 7:53 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips send Dubai, Saudi higher; other markets down

RIYADH, April 30 (Reuters) - Dubai and Saudi stock markets both rose on Monday backed by gains in key blue-chip stocks and strong corporate earnings, while Abu Dhabi and Qatar were down.

The Dubai index added 0.4 percent fueled by gains in property stocks and financials. Lender Emirates NBD was up 0.5 percent.

Emaar Properties jumped 1.4 percent, while its unit Emaar Development climbed 0.9 percent after the development firm recorded a net profit of 819 million dirhams ($223 million) in the first quarter of 2018, versus 506 million a year ago.

SICO Bahrain had forecast a net profit of 767 million dirhams and EFG Hermes’ forecast was 800 million.

In Saudi, the main index gained 0.1 percent as heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi added 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

Saudi National Petrochemical Company (Petrochem) jumped 3.7 percent after solid quarterly results, making a net profit of 33.9 million riyals versus 167.9 million a year ago.

Shares in Kingdom Holding, the investment arm of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, lost 0.11 percent after it signed agreement with partners to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to its Associate AccorHotels.

In Abu Dhabi, Etisalat lost 0.6 percent, and Aldar Properties declined 0.9 percent, pulling the main index 0.14 percent down.

Qatar index lost 0.4 percent as lender Masraf al Rayan shed 0.7 percent and Barwa Real Estate fell 0.8 percent. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

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