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|04 February, 2019

Mideast Stocks: FAB elevates Abu Dhabi, COMI lifts Egypt

Abu Dhabi closes at highest in more than four years

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes only.

REUTERS/Stringer

Abu Dhabi stock market rose sharply on Monday, buoyed by First Abu Dhabi Bank after it proposed an increase in the foreign ownership limit, while Egypt's blue-chip index was lifted by its top lender Commercial International Bank .

The Abu Dhabi index gained for a third straight day, rising 1 percent to close at its highest sice Oct. 2014.

The United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank  jumped 2.3 percent to 15.34 dirhams, its highest close since May 29, 2014. The bank had last week proposed an increase in its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent and had posted a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, beating analysts' forecasts.

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) added 2 percent to touch its highest since Dec. 2005. The stock has been rising in most of last sessions after ADCB, Union National Bank (UNB)UNB.AD and unlisted Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger to create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates with $114 billion of assets. UNB gained 1 percent.

Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.9 percent, boosted by a 3.1 percent gain in the country's biggest lender Commercial International Bank. Financial Regulatory Authority has granted the bank the go-ahead for its authorised capital increase to 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.84 billion) from 20 billion pounds.

Juhayna Food Industries increased 4.3 percent. Juhayna had last week said that its annual profit more than doubled.

In Dubai, the index fell 0.4 percent as most its property stocks retreated. The emirates largest listed developer Emaar Properties shed 1.7 percent while its units Emaar Malls  and Emaar Development were down 2.7 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Developer DAMAC Properties dropped 2.3 percent.

The three firms' share performance over the past year sets them up for exclusion from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in May under the compiler's criteria for membership, which has been weighing on these stocks.

Qatar's index rose 0.4 percent as Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) surged 4.6 percent. Qatar Navigation (Milaha) said it agreed through its unit to buy Qatar Investment Authority's 5.9 percent stake in Nakilat, raising its stake to 36.3 percent. Milaha gained 1.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia's main index shed 0.1 percent, weighed down by its real estate stocks with property developer Jabal Omar Development dropping 1.6 percent.

Saudi Real Estate Co decreased 1.6 percent; the firm has appointed Ayman Bin Mohamed al-Mudaifer as its chairman.

But Dallah Healthcare rose 2.4 percent after its board approved a buyback of 5 percent of ordinary shares.

SAUDI ARABIA

The index slipped 0.1 pct to 8,521 points 

DUBAI

The index fell 0.4 pct to 2,529 points

QATAR

The index rose 0.4 pct to 10,728 points

ABU DHABI

The index rose 1 pct to 5,128 points

EGYPT

The index rose 0.9 pct to 14,366 points

KUWAIT

The index  rose 0.4 pct to 5,426 points

OMAN

The index rose 0.5 pct to 4,166 points

BAHRAIN

The index  was up 0.1 pct at 1,398 points

($1 = 17.6200 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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