May 30, 2018 / 8:09 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar falls as blue chip banks give up recent gains

DUBAI, May 30 (Reuters) - Qatari stocks fell on Wednesday, weighed down by Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Qatar Islamic Bank, while other Gulf markets were mixed

The Qatar index was trading 1.8 percent lower as blue-chip stock Qatar National Bank fell 3.5 percent, giving up some of the recent gains driven by a 7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, helped by rapid loan growth.

Other index heavyweights Qatar Islamic Bank and Industries Qatar were down 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. The Qatari index is nevertheless up 4.7 percent so far this year.

Industries Qatar, the Middle East’s second-biggest petrochemicals company by market value, reported a 37 percent rise in first-quarter net profit last month. Its results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and manufacturing.

Shares in several Qatar blue chips have risen since May 15 after MSCI said it would raise their weightings in its index at the end of this month, after the companies increase their foreign ownership ceilings.

Elsewhere markets were mixed with Saudi index was flat as Travel company Al Tayyar rose 2.2 percent after saying it had repaid early, using its own resources, a 307 million riyal ($81.9 million) long-term loan that had been due to mature between 2019 and 2021.

Several banks traded lower led by a 0.76 percent fall in National Commercial Bank shares and real estate developer Jabal Omar was up 2.3 percent.

The Dubai index was up 0.14 percent and the Abu Dhabi index and the Abu Dhabi index was down 0.11 percent. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, additional reporting by Andrew Torchia, editing by Alexander Smith)

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