MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil prices weigh on most Gulf markets; Dubai, Qatar lead losses

* QNB posts biggest intraday loss in 20 months
* Dubai Investments at lowest since May 2013
* Waha Capital plunges to five-year low
* Saudi’s Al Yamamah Steel falls on Q1 loss

By Ateeq Shariff
Feb 11 (Reuters) – Weak oil prices led to falls in most Gulf
stock markets on Monday, while Qatar and Dubai were dragged
lower by their blue-chip bank stocks.
Qatar’s index fell 1.3 percent as the Middle East’s
largest lender Qatar National Bank slid 5.2 percent,
its biggest intraday loss since June 2017. The stock gained more
than 65 percent last year after QNB announced plans to lift its
foreign ownership ceiling to 49 percent from 25 percent.
The Qatari index was one of the world’s
best-performing in 2018, jumping 21 percent as companies raised
limits on foreign ownership of their shares.
Blue-chip petrochemical maker Industries Qatar
dropped 2.2 percent ahead of its full-year earnings results,
expected later on Monday.
Dubai’s index was down 1.3 percent, partially due
to a 1.5 percent drop in Emirates NBD.
The Emirate’s largest listed developer Emaar Properties
fell 1.5 percent. Dubai’s property stocks have been
struggling and show no signs of recovery.
“The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has managed a soft landing,
with a less pronounced cycle than in 2008. We expect non-oil
real GDP growth to have bottomed as the fiscal drag eases and
infrastructure activity picks up. We expect overall UAE real GDP
growth to pick up but the real estate sector remains a drag,”
BoFa Merrill Lynch said in a note.
Dubai Investments slumped 6 percent to a six-year
low. The stock has been sliding since the firm said it had
bought the 66 percent in Globalpharma it did not already own. On
Monday, the firm said the value of the deal was confidential and
its disclosure was subject to GlobalPharma’s consent.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market lost 0.4 percent, with
Al Rajhi Bank shedding 0.8 percent and Saudi Basic
Industries down 0.7 percent.
In first week of February, foreigners bought 920.7 million
riyals ($245.51 million) of Saudi stocks on a net basis,
according to stock exchange data.
Al Yamamah Steel Industries Company was down 4.1
percent after it posted a first-quarter net loss of 30.2 million
riyals compared with a profit of 6.7 million riyals a year ago.
The Abu Dhabi index slid 0.7 percent, with the
country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank shedding
0.9 percent.
Waha Capital declined 8 percent to a five-year
low. It dived 10 percent on Thursday after reporting a plunge in
its full-year net profit and slashing its dividend by half.
Egypt’s blue-chip index edged up 0.1 percent with
the country’s biggest lender Commercial International Bank
gaining 1.7 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA The index lost 0.4 pct to 8,543 points
DUBAI The index shed 1.3 pct to 2,496 points
QATAR The index fell 1.3 pct to 10,302 points
ABU DHABI The index slid 0.7 pct to 5,047 points
EGYPT The index was up 0.1 pct at 14,785
points
KUWAIT The index was up 0.3 pct at 5,457 points
OMAN The index was down 0.4 pct at 4,142
points
BAHRAIN The index fell 0.8 pct to 1,399 points

($1 = 17.5800 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine
Evans)

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