January 23, 2018 / 3:00 PM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most big Gulf markets firm, ex-div Emaar pulls down Dubai

* Qatar’s Aamal surges on unit’s Doha property acquisitions

* Gainers more than double losers in Dubai

* But Emaar Properties sags as special dividend claim passes

* Shuaa Capital up on potential Kuwait acquisition

* Saudi Kayan falls after reporting Q4 loss

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Most Gulf stock markets were firm on Tuesday, with conglomerate Aamal Holding surging in Qatar, but blue chip Emaar Properties dragged down Dubai’s index as the stock went ex-dividend.

Qatar’s index rose 0.5 percent in active trade as Aamal gained 4.8 percent after saying a unit had spent about 179.5 million riyals ($49.3 million) buying residential assets in Doha, a deal which would boost the unit’s revenue by about 9 percent on year.

Several other property-related firms rose in sympathy, with Barwa Real Estate gaining 1.5 percent and United Development adding 2.6 percent.

But Dubai’s index fell 0.7 percent as Emaar tumbled 5.8 percent. Monday was the last day for shareholders to claim a 0.42 dirham special dividend related to the listing of Emaar Development.

Most of the rest of Dubai’s market was strong, however, with gainers outnumbering losers 22 to nine. GFH Financial surged 3.4 percent and construction firm Arabtec jumped 3.5 percent.

Other Dubai property firms were mixed, with Union Properties up 2.3 percent and Deyaar up 1.9 percent, but DAMAC down 0.3 percent.

Shuaa Capital rose 1.8 percent as it confirmed regional newspaper reports that it was negotiating a potential acquisition of Kuwait-listed Amwal International Investment . Amwal rose 0.2 percent in unusually active trade, after leaping 20 percent on Monday.

The Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent on the back of strength in a few blue chips, with Al Rajhi Bank adding 0.6 percent and telecommunications firm Mobily rising 1.1 percent.

Saudi Kayan fell 2.0 percent after reporting a fourth-quarter net loss of 220.3 million riyals ($58.7 million) versus a profit of 91.6 million riyals a year ago. The loss was much smaller than the 417 million riyal loss forecast by NCB Capital; SICO Bahrain had predicted a 90 million riyal loss.

In Kuwait, the biggest bank, National Bank of Kuwait , fell 0.9 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with estimates, while its proposed cash and bonus share dividend were the same as last year. The stock had risen 2.1 percent on Monday in anticipation of the earnings.

SAUDI ARABIA

* Index rose 0.2 percent to 7,494 points.

DUBAI

* Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,479 points.

ABU DHABI

* Index gained 0.3 percent to 4,644 points.

QATAR

* Index rose 0.5 percent to 9,255 points.

EGYPT

* Index fell 0.3 percent to 15,197 points.

KUWAIT

* Index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,630 points.

BAHRAIN

* Index edged down 0.1 percent to 1,334 points.

OMAN

* Index fell 0.2 percent to 4,978 points.

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