May 25, 2017 / 2:05 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar's Ezdan tumbles on delisting approval, Saudi set back by oil

* Ezdan slumps on shareholder initial approval to go private

* Most Qatari shares up, brushing off regional political rift

* DXBE continues descent, other tourist sensitive shares

* Petrochemicals take Saudi lower as oil retreats

* Egypt follows other emerging markets up

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, May 25 (Reuters) - Shares of Qatar’s largest property developer plunged 10 percent on Thursday after its shareholders gave preliminary approval to take the company private, while a dip in crude oil took the Saudi equity index lower in its final hour of trade.

Ezdan Holding Group, with majority ownership by the ruling al Thani family, said shareholders who are against the de-listing, whether they attended the meeting or not, can exit their positions within 60 days.

The company said it will hire an independent expert to look at it its assets and to assess the fair value of the company. The stock closed at 13.95 riyals on Thursday.

Although its shares are a constituent of the MSCI emerging market benchmark, foreign money makes a very small portion of its ownership; BlackRock and Vanguard Group are the top two non-Arab shareholders, and they have a combined holding of just 0.6 percent of the real estate firm, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Most other shares in Doha were strong, largely shrugging off the rising political tension between it and neighbouring Gulf states.

Qatar got into a war of words with some Gulf Arab allies on Wednesday after it said hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir against U.S. foreign policy, but its state-run media, Al Jazeer, reported the comments anyway.

Dubai’s index lost 0.7 percent, a fresh six month low, as investors booked profits and sold shares in companies that may suffer from the slower summer months which sees very high temperatures.

DXB Entertainments dropped 2.8 percent and the theme park and hotel operator has now declined heavily in seven of the last 11 trading sessions.

Emaar Properties, the builder of the tallest tower in the world, and Emaar Malls Group, its retail arm and operator of one of the largest malls in the region, each closed 0.4 percent lower.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged down 0.3 percent with the main drag coming from blue chips. Telecommunications operator Etisalat fell 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank dropped 0.8 percent.


Elswhere, Saudi Arabia’s index fell 0.4 percent, after briefly trading in positive territory earlier.

Petrochemical shares tugged the index lower as Brent crude oil prices, which were trading above $54 a barrel earlier in the day fell to about $53.50 as the OPEC meeting was under way in Vienna to discuss an extension to the production cuts.

Domestic-consumer related shares however, were relatively resilient with apparel and mall operator Alhokair adding 0.5 percent.

During the holy month of Ramadan, which is likely to start on Saturday, and the Eid al-Fitr holidays, typically people tend to spend more time and money shopping.

Cairo’s index joined other emerging markets heading higher and rose 1.6 percent, recovering fully from the heavy losses earlier in the week after the central bank raised interest rates by two percentage points unexpectedly.

The largeset listed bank Commercial International Bank , and constituent of the MSCI emerging market index, jumped 3.0 percent. Investment bank EFG Hermes climbed 2.6 percent.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 6,872 points.


* The index lost 0.7 percent to 3,327 points.


* The index fell 0.3 percent to 4,517 points.


* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 10,006 points.


* The index climbed 1.6 percent to 13,094 points.


* The index lost 0.2 percent to 6,688 points.


* The index flat at 1,314 points.


* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 5,403 points.

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