August 21, 2017 / 5:45 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may move little, Dubai's DSI seeks to become shariah-compliant

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may move little on Monday as oil prices have largely held onto Friday’s big gains while international equity markets barely moved overnight.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.1 percent and Brent oil futures are trading at $52.70 a barrel, only 2 cents lower than Friday’s close.

“Today will be another day of momentum trading, because there is not much else that is going on in the market,” said a Dubai-based trader.

Dubai’s index, last at 3,615 points, has been outperforming its peers over the last several weeks and is technically near-term bullish. Technical analysts at NBAD Securities think the index could target its previous high of 3,681 points, hit in early August.

Dubai builder Drake & Scull said it was seeking shareholder approval to convert the company into a sharia-compliant entity.

Becoming sharia-compliant could appeal to a new set of investors who only hold compliant securities, and might help the company raise debt through Islamic bonds. DSI also said one of its units had won a 175 million dirhams ($47.6 million) deal in Dubai for construction and civil engineering work.

Last week the company reported a slight narrowing in its quarterly loss; it has yet to name a new chief executive since the departure of Wael Allan last week. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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