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| 23 January, 2018

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed as petchems aid Saudi, ex-div Emaar drags down Dubai

The Saudi index climbed 0.3% in the first 45 minutes as 10 of the 14 petrochemical stocks rose on the back of strong oil prices

Chairman of the Board of Directors of National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mansour Al Maiman signs during the listing ceremony at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh November 12, 2014.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mansour Al Maiman signs during the listing ceremony at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh November 12, 2014.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
DUBAI  - Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Tuesday as petrochemical stocks supported Saudi Arabia while blue chip Emaar Properties dragged down Dubai as the stock went ex-dividend.

The Saudi index climbed 0.3 percent in the first 45 minutes as 10 of the 14 petrochemical stocks rose on the back of strong oil prices. Saudi Kayan 2350.SE rose 1.3 percent.

The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 220.3 million riyals ($58.7 million) versus a profit of 91.6 million riyals a year ago, but the loss was much smaller than the 417 million riyal loss forecast by NCB Capital. SICO Bahrain had predicted a 90 million riyal loss.

Qatar's index edged up 0.1 percent as Aamal Holding gained 2.3 percent after saying a unit had spent about 179.5 million riyals ($49.3 million) buying residential assets in Doha, a deal which would boost the unit's revenue by about 9 percent on year.

But Dubai sank 1.1 percent as Emaar tumbled 5.5 percent. Monday was the last day for shareholders to claim a 0.42 dirham special dividend related to the listing of Emaar Development 

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Other Dubai property firms were mixed, with Union Properties up 1.3 percent and Deyaar up 2.2 percent, but DAMAC  down 0.9 percent.

In Kuwait, the biggest bank, National Bank of Kuwait, fell 1.0 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with estimates, while its proposed cash and bonus share dividend were the same as last year. The stock had risen 2.1 percent on Monday in anticipation of the earnings. 

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Robin Pomeroy) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))