March 21, 2019 / 8:48 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Real estate hurts Dubai, ex-dividend stocks weigh on Qatar

March 21 (Reuters) - Dubai’s stock market dropped on Thursday, weighed down by its property shares, while Qatar slipped as its heavyweight stocks traded ex-dividend.

In Dubai, the index fell 0.7 percent after four straight days of gains, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties decreasing 1.7 percent. Its board proposed a full-year dividend of 15 fils a share.

Emaar’s unit Emaar Malls fell 2.3 percent after declaring an unchanged full-year dividend of 10 fils per share.

Arqaam Capital said it expected flat dividends of 15 fils per share from Emaar Properties and 11 fils per share from Emaar Malls, adding that it is “selectively positive” on UAE real estate despite a challenging market in 2019.

The emirate’s largest bank, Emirates NBD, traded flat. It listed a $1 billion conventional bond on Nasdaq Dubai.

Network International Holdings, the largest payment processing company in Africa and the Middle East, said it intends to float on the London stock exchange.

The Dubai-based company is jointly owned by Emirates NBD and private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic.

Qatar’s index was down 0.5 percent with Barwa Real Estate shedding 6.8 percent and Commercial Bank losing 3.7 percent as the stocks traded ex-dividend.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent with petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries gaining 0.2 percent and Samba Financial Group adding 0.5 percent.

Al Ahsa Development climbed 4.4 percent after providing an update on the acquisition of Salam Medical Services.

Saudi Arabian Refineries gained 1.2 percent after its full-year net profit doubled.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) adding 0.7 percent and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah rising 2.4 percent. The latter’s shareholders renewed their approval to issue bonds.

Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King

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