Mideast Stocks: Dubai's real estate stocks rally; Qatar shares fall

Dubai stocks rose on Thursday as strong earnings lifted its battered real estate shares


Dubai stocks rose on Thursday as strong earnings lifted its battered real estate shares, while Qatar's market was pulled down by drilling rig provider Gulf International Services.

In Dubai, the indexrose 1.7 percent as the emirate's largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, gained 6 percent before reporting full-year results later on Thursday.

Emaar Development rose 7.4 percent after posting a full-year profit of 3.90 billion dirhams ($1.06 billion), up from 2.74 billion dirhams a year earlier.

Emaar Malls rose 7.3 percent after reporting a 2.1 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net profit. Arqaam Capital reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock.

Dubai property prices have fallen from their mid-2014 peak, hurting earnings of developers and forcing construction and engineering companies to cut jobs and halt expansion plans. Among other stocks, Air Arabia dropped 7.1 percent to its lowest since 2013 after posting a full-year loss, hurt by impairments linked to its exposure to collapsed private equity firm Abraaj.

Qatar's index fell for a seventh straight day, declining 0.6 percent. Gulf International Services slumped 9.1 percent after reporting a full-year loss compared with a profit a year earlier. The firm did not recommend a dividend for 2018.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4 percent. The emirate's biggest developer, Aldar Properties, climbed 11.5 percent for its best one-day gain since 2014. It proposed a full-year dividend of 14 fils per share, up from 12 fils a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.1 percent with Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.2 percent.

Developer Knowledge Economic City rose 1.7 percent after it signed a marketing agreement with the General Investment Authority. It did not disclose the value of the deal.

Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi added 0.5 percent after saying its accumulated losses fell 30.84 percent from 38.77 percent of capital.

($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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