Mideast Stocks: Property shares weigh on Dubai as major Gulf markets ease

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.1%


Most major stock markets in the Gulf were subdued in early trade on Tuesday, as the Dubai index was hit by losses in real state shares.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.1%, weighed by petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries, which fell 0.6%, and Al Rajhi Bank, which slipped 0.2%.

Dubai's main share index retreated 0.6%, pressured by a 1.4% fall in Emaar Malls and a 2.4% drop in DAMAC Properties.

Property prices in Dubai, which has a diversified economy that focuses on tourism and international business services, have been falling since its peak in 2014 due to a continued gap between supply and demand.

Arabtec Holding declined 4.9% and was on course to post its third straight session of losses.

On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates' largest listed contractor, swung to a loss in the first half of the year and said it was seeking an advisor for debt restructuring.

This will be the third restructuring exercise for Arabtec in the last four years

The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.2% as First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, and Emirates Telecommunications both fell 0.5%.

In Qatar, the index was flat, with lender Masraf Al Rayan rising 0.7%.

The Gulf state expects the economy to contract this year due to low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis, after it shrank by 0.3% last year, the central bank said in a report on Monday.

In 2019, real gross domestic product contracted by 0.3% mainly because of a slowdown in the hydrocarbon sector, it said.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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