Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi index hits record high; other markets steady

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.2% to scale a record high


Abu Dhabi stocks rose to a record high in early trade on Wednesday as telecom giant Etisalat extended gains, while the other major Gulf markets were trading flat.

In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.2% to scale a record high, led by a 0.9% increase in Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat).

The telecoms firm said on Tuesday it had secured required approvals to increase the foreign ownership limit to 49%. 

Among other gainers, Dana Gas  advanced about 3% following a $250 million financing agreement by Pearl Petroleoum with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to support the gas expansion works at the Khor Mor gas plant in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

Pearl Petroleoum is a consortium led by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum of the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark inched up 0.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1% while Saudi Electricity Co was up 0.2%, after the utility firm secured a $2.58 billion revolving credit facility to refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes.  

However, Mobile Telecommunications Co Saudi Arabia, also known as Zain KSA, fell more than 1% after giving up gains from the previous session when it rose after Saudi sovereign wealth fund offered to buy 60% stake in it's towers. 

Dubai's main share index fell 0.3%, weighed down by a 0.7% drop in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties, extending losses from the previous session.

On Monday, shopping centre operator Emaar Malls received regulator approval to merge with its parent company Emaar Properties. 

Shares of Emaar Malls were down 0.7%.

The Dubai market could see a price correction as it seems overstretched and could lean negatively over the short term, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

The Qatari index edged up 0.1%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar adding 0.8%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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