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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf sluggish, blue chips lift Egypt
November 2, 2017 / 1:30 PM / 19 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf sluggish, blue chips lift Egypt

* Dubai’s Emaar Development sets price range for IPO

* Some investors had been looking for higher valuation

* Shuaa Capital leaps before quarterly earnings

* Saudi’s Dar Al Arkan plunges after three-week uptrend

* Egypt’s Talaat Mostafa surges on earnings

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Gulf markets remained sluggish on Thursday despite activity in Dubai’s Emaar Properties after its local property development arm set an indicative price range for its initial public offering (IPO) while a couple of blue chips boosted Egypt.

Emaar Development set a range of 5.7 dirhams to 6.9 dirhams per share, valuing the company at between 22.8 billion and 27.6 billion dirhams ($6.21 billion-$7.52 billion).

Proceeds from the IPO, and possibly other funds, are expected to be paid to Emaar Properties shareholders as a special dividend by the end of January.

Fund managers and analysts said the price range appeared reasonable given Dubai’s muted real estate market, but the dividend may have disappointed some investors who had been expecting a premium of 10-20 percent.

The Dubai stock index fell 0.3 percent as Emaar Properties traded higher for much of the day but dipped into negative territory by the close.

Dubai’s most active stock, Shuaa Capital, jumped 7.4 percent in its heaviest trade since July. Some traders cited speculative buying before the announcement of third-quarter earnings early next week.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent as real estate company Dar Al Arkan, the most active stock, sank 9.9 percent. It had risen by 33 percent since early October.

Saudi Company for Hardware gained 3.1 percent after posting an 8 percent rise in quarterly profit on sales up 13 percent.

But petrochemical producer Chemanol dropped 3.2 percent after it reported a third-quarter net loss of 9.9 million riyals ($2.7 million).

Al Ahlia Cooperative Insurance sank 3.5 percent despite swinging to a quarterly profit as gross written premiums grew by 23 percent.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.3 percent in very thin trade as eight of the 10 most active stocks fell and only one rose. That solitary gainer was property company Ezdan Holding, , adding 1.6 percent.

In Egypt, the index advanced by 0.3 percent, supported by Global Telecom and real estate developer Talaat Mostafa, up 4.6 percent and 3.3 percent respectively. Talaat had reported a 72 percent leap in nine-month consolidated net profit.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,957 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell by 0.3 percent to 3,622 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index dropped 0.5 percent to 4,465 points.

QATAR

* The index slipped by 0.3 percent to 8,146 points.

EGYPT

* The index was up 0.3 percent at 14,325 points.

KUWAIT

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 6,548 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index gained 0.3 percent to 1,283 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 5,040 points. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by David Goodman)

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