MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge down as oil ends rally – Reuters


* Saudi equities track oil prices

* Kuwait’s Mezzan surges on listing

* Dubai drops after jumping on speculative trades

* Qatar attracts some money cashed in other Gulf markets

* Egypt slips ahead of interest rate decision

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, June 11 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets closed
lower on Thursday as oil prices pulled back after a rally, and
heavy profit-taking hit the Dubai bourse after speculative
buying earlier in the week.

Saudi Arabia’s main index slipped 0.2 percent and
leading petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries
edged down 0.3 percent, tracking oil, which fell after the World
Bank cut its global economic growth forecast.

The Saudi banking sector gave up early gains and
fell 0.6 percent. But food retailer Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Co climbed 2.3 percent to 110.00 riyals after Deutsche
Bank raised its price target for the stock to 120 riyals from
103.

Trading volume fell for a second day in a row, indicating
that investors were preparing for the Muslim holy month of
Ramadan and were not expecting much from the opening of the
Saudi market to direct investment by foreigners next week.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index slipped 0.3 percent
but Mezzan Holding, a producer of food, medicines and
consumer goods such as soap, surged 32.4 percent upon listing
after a 65.8 million dinar ($217.9 million) private placement.

UAE, EGYPT

Dubai’s index dropped 2.7 percent as two stocks which had
led gains in the last few days, Amlak Finance and
Arabtec, both tumbled by the daily 10 percent limit.

Mortgage lender Amlak had previously more than doubled since
trading in the stock resumed on June 2 after a six-year
suspension during which it restructured debt.

The company said in a bourse statement on Thursday it was
unaware of the reasons behind the share price increase. Analysts
have described it as a momentum play not based on fundamentals.

Construction firm Arabtec had gained 27 percent on Tuesday
and Wednesday, supported by speculation that it will soon
finalise a giant development project in Egypt. Arabtec said on
Thursday that no developments requiring disclosure had taken
place at the company.

Some Abu Dhabi blue chips also gave up gains made earlier
this week, with developer Aldar Properties down 3.2
percent. That emirate’s index fell 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s market, which had ignored the
latest rally, closed 0.4 percent higher and may have attracted
cash from investors closing their positions in other Gulf
markets. According to bourse data, Gulf investors were net
buyers in Qatar on Thursday.

Egypt’s benchmark slipped 0.2 percent with most
stocks in the red before a monthly meeting of the central bank
to discuss interest rates. Most analysts expect it to keep rates
on hold.

The $334 million flotation of the Egyptian subsidiary of
Dubai developer Emaar Properties may also be draining
some liquidity from the market. The offer, now in its
institutional stage, will open to retail investors next week.

THURSDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 9,518 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 2.7 percent to 4,073 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index fell 0.8 percent to 4,555 points.

QATAR

* The index edged up 0.4 percent to 11,880 points.

EGYPT

* The index lost 0.2 percent to 8,626 points.

KUWAIT

* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 6,283 points.

OMAN

* The index inched up 0.1 percent to 6,482 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 1,368 points.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge down as oil ends rally – Reuters}

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