January 17, 2019 / 1:38 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate earnings boost most Gulf markets; Egypt edges lower

    * Emirates NBD continues to gain on Q4 results
    * Air Arabia rises after lawsuit against Abraaj founder
    * Saudi's Samba Financial gains on FY results
    * National Commercial Bank rises on merger talk 

    By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan
    Jan 17 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market rose on Thursday,
buoyed by heavyweight constituents, with most Gulf markets
lifted by corporate earnings announcements.
    The Dubai index added 0.6 percent as lender
Emirates NBD rose by 1.1 percent and developer Emaar
Properties advanced by 1.3 percent.
    Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, reported a 10 percent
gain in fourth-quarter net profit after loan growth and improved
margins offset higher expenses and a drop to investment
securities income.
    Ajman Bank was up 3.5 percent after full-year
profit jumped by 28 percent to 170 million dirhams ($46.3 
    Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 percent, helped
by petrochemical and bank shares. Its biggest lender, National
Commercial Bank (NCB), rose 0.8 percent in heavy trade.
    NCB is expected to pick JPMorgan to advise on merger
talks with smaller rival Riyad Bank, Reuters reported,
citing sources familiar with the matter. Riyad Bank added 0.1
     Samba Financial Group, Saudi's third-largest bank
by assets, rose 2.2 percent after a 10 percent jump in 2018 net
    Egypt's blue-chip index eased by 0.2 percent, with
declines for 23 of its 30 stocks, mirroring a dip in emerging
    EFG Hermes was down 2.3 percent and Eastern Co
 fell by 2.1 percent. 
    In Qatar, blue-chips Qatar Gas Transport and Qatar
Insurance rose 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent
respectively, pushing the index up by 0.2 percent.
    Qatar National Bank lost 0.5 percent as investors
booked profits after it announced a 5 percent jump in full-year
net profirt on Tuesday.
    The Abu Dhabi index edged up by 0.1 percent as
telecoms company Emirates Telecommunications Group
added 0.4 percent and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah
gained 2.2 percent.
 SAUDI       The index         rose 0.5 pct to
 ARABIA      8,448 points
 DUBAI       The index          gained 0.6 pct to
             2,517 points
 QATAR       The index        inched up 0.2 pct to
             10,788 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        was up 0.1 pct at
             4,985 points
 EGYPT       The index          lost 0.2 percent
             to 13,483 points
 KUWAIT      The index        added 0.2 pct to
             5,480 points
 OMAN        The index        fell 0.5 pct to
             4,237 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        inched up 0.1 pct to
             1,341 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

 (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman)
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