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|11 February, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Oil prices weigh on most Gulf markets; Dubai, Qatar lead losses

Dubai Investments at lowest since May 2013

Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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.

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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 Company1304.SE 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) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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