November 27, 2018 / 2:11 PM / 17 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Real estate weighs on Dubai, Egypt ends losing streak

* Egypt’s Commercial Bank International rebounds

* Dubai index hits 34-month low

* Emaar Properties, Union Properties fall sharply

* MSCI rebalancing to cause flows from UAE stocks - analyst

* Egypt’s Commercial Bank International rebounds

* Bank issues statement on impact of Treasury tax changes

By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

Nov 27 (Reuters) - Dubai’s stock market tumbled to a 34-month low on Tuesday as real estate shares continued to slide, while Egyptian blue chips rebounded after five straight sessions of losses.

The Dubai index fell 1.0 percent to 2,700 points, its lowest level since January 2016; it slipped below technical support on the October low of 2,707 points. Emaar Properties shed 3.2 percent after a unit agreed to sell five hotels in Dubai to Abu Dhabi National Hotels for an undisclosed amount.

Union Properties lost 3.4 percent, though another major property firm, DAMAC, added 1.0 percent. Dubai’s largest bank, Emirates NBD, lost 2.2 percent.

Emaar’s asset sale provides cashflow for other projects and is timed well since the hospitality industry in Dubai has become very competitive, said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital.

But he said a rebalancing of MSCI indexes, to go into effect at the end of this week, would result in outflows from stocks in the United Arab Emirates. General investor sentiment is weak and any break of technical support can trigger selling, he added.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 1.3 percent with 25 of its 30 stocks gaining. Commercial International Bank (COMI), the country’s largest lender, ended five straight days of losses to climb 1.4 percent.

The stock had plunged in the last two sessions, partly because investors were worried about authorities’ proposed changes to the way banks’ earnings from Egyptian Treasury bonds are calculated for tax purposes.

In a one-paragraph statement on Tuesday seeking to clarify the impact, COMI said the proposed tax changes would apply to new Treasury bounds with no retrospective effect, and that the tax rate on earnings from Treasury bonds would stay at 20 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index added 0.6 percent, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical rising 2.3 percent and Samba Financial Group gaining 1.6 percent.

Saudi Industrial Export surged 9.9 percent after Al Jouf Cement extended its sale and marketing contract with the company for a year; Al Jouf was up 0.5 percent.

Saudi Industrial Export has swung widely in speculative trade since early October, and on Monday posted its largest trading volume since April 2013. Volume on Tuesday was light.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.2 percent with Dana Gas falling 3.4 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy dropping 3.1 percent in low volume.

Qatar was flat with telecommunications firm Ooredoo the top gainer, increasing 1.7 percent. SAUDI ARABIA * The index rose 0.6 percent at 7,573 points. DUBAI * The index fell 1 percent at 2,700 points. ABU DHABI * The index slid 0.2 percent at 4,960 points. QATAR * The index was flat at 10,356 points.

KUWAIT * The index added 0.8 percent at 5,333 points.

EGYPT * The index rose 1.3 percent to 13,214 points. BAHRAIN * The index fell 0.5 percent at 1,320 points. OMAN * The index dipped 0.1 percent at 4,387 points (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Angus MacSwan)

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