Mideast Stocks: Real estate elevates Dubai, banks lift Saudis

In Dubai, the index was up 0.6% as blue-chip developer Emaar Properties gained 1.4% and DAMAC Properties climbed 3.1%

  

Dubai stocks rose on Wednesday as real estate shares gained, while financial stocks lifted Saudi Arabia's index.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.6 percent as blue-chip developer Emaar Properties gained 1.4 percent and DAMAC Properties climbed 3.1 percent.

Dubai's Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March came in at 57.6, a 10-month high reading, Al Mal Capital said in a note.

The improvement in non-oil business activity was led by the travel and tourism industry and wholesale and retail. But the construction industry was the weakest in 28 months as new orders subsided, the note said.

Growth in the United Arab Emirates' non-oil sector picked up in March after slowing to a 28-month low last month, a survey showed on Sunday.

Saudi's index rose 0.3 percent with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1.1 percent.

Saudi Cable rose 1.5 percent after its board proposed raising 250 million riyals ($66.67 million) through a rights issue. Riyad REIT gained 0.3 percent after it acquired a 40 percent stake in the leasehold interest of an office building in the United States. The investment is expected to generate a net yield of more than 8 percent for its shareholders, the company said.

Qatar's index lost 0.2 percent, weighed down by a 1.8 percent drop in Qatar Islamic Bank before its first-quarter earnings expected later on Wednesday.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.1 percent with energy firm Dana Gas adding 2.9 percent and market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank edging up 0.3 percent.

Last week, the bank obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from a previous limit of 25 percent.

($1 = 3.7500 riyals)

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

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