|29 January, 2017

Mideast Stocks: Most of Gulf moves little, Kuwait rises

Kuwaiti index added 1.1 percent to a fresh 26-month high with eight of the 10 most heavily traded stocks rising and none falling

DUBAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Most Gulf stock markets moved little in early trade on Sunday, although Kuwait continued this month's bull run in heavy trade.

The Kuwaiti index added 1.1 percent to a fresh 26-month high with eight of the 10 most heavily traded stocks rising and none falling.

On Monday, the government plans to announce details of its long-term economic development plan, which could help the stock market if it gives more impetus to big infrastructure projects.

Telecommunications firm Viva Kuwait fell 3.3 percent, however, after reporting a 6.8 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 10.8 million dinars ($35.4 million); SICO Bahrain had forecast 9.44 million dinars.

Saudi Arabia's index edged down 0.1 percent. Builder Khodari climbed 2.2 percent, but National Commercial Bank dropped 1.4 percent despite proposing a higher second-half dividend.

Nama Chemicals jumped its 10 percent daily limit for a second straight day after announcing the main elements of a plan to recover from accumulated losses that exceeded 75 percent of its capital. The plan includes eventually increasing capital to finance production of speciality chemical products and boost capacity, and the sale of assets of an investment affiliate.

Dubai's index slipped 0.2 percent as GFH Financial , the most heavily trade stock, pulled back 5.9 percent. The stock, a speculative favourite of local investors, has been very volatile in the past week.

In Abu Dhabi another speculative stock, International Fish Farming , plunged its 10 percent daily limit to 2.92 dirhams. It soared from 1.90 dirhams at the end of last month to a peak of 4.65 dirhams, partly because of a rumour that a well-known Abu Dhabi individual investor had bought a strategic stake in the company.

But in mid-January, an Asmak spokesman told Reuters that the rumour was false, and the stock has been falling back since then. Abu Dhabi's equities index fell 0.2 percent in early trade on Sunday.

Qatar's index dropped 0.3 percent but Widam Food gained 2.1 percent after saying annual net profit rose to 91.3 million riyals ($25.1 million) from 69.1 million riyals.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia, editing by Larry King) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com; +9715 6681 7277; Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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