MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi may continue pre-MSCI rally, investor news could boost UAE's Dana


DUBAI, June 20 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market may
continue rising on Tuesday before index compiler MSCI decides
whether to put Riyadh on a list for possible upgrade to emerging
market status, while Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas could climb on news of
an investor building a stake.
    MSCI will announce its decision after the close. The Saudi
stock index <.TASI> surged 2.4 percent on Monday after Mohammed
El-Kuwaiz, vice chairman of the Capital Market Authority, was
quoted as saying by the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that he
expected Riyadh to be upgraded by the end of 2018 - faster than
the mid-2019 date which MSCI's past practice would suggest.
    This hope encouraged local funds to buy stocks on Monday and
that may continue for another day, although many fund managers
think fundemntals are not particularly attractive so a positive
decision by MSCI could prompt profit-taking.
    In the United Arab Emirates, Dana Gas <DANA.AD> may attract
interest after Goldilocks Investment Co, an open-ended equity
fund which is part of Abu Dhabi Financial Group, said it had
bought 5 percent of the company.
    Goldilocks' brief statement did not say what it intended to
do with Dana, but it may be anticipating ultimate success in
Dana's efforts to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in
unpaid receivables and damages from Iraqi Kurdistan.
    Dubai's National Central Cooling Co <TABR.DU> (Tabreed)
surged its 15 percent daily limit to 2.12 dirhams on Monday
after French power and gas group Engie ENGIE.PA agreed to buy a
40 percent stake for 2.8 billion dirhams ($763 million).
    The stock may not continue rising sharply for much longer,
however, as some analysts think it is close to fair value.
Analysts at Arqaam Capital said they were keeping their target
price unchanged at 2.32 dirhams, as Tabreed's growth would
benefit from Engie's experience but share buy-backs by the
company were no longer likely.
    Overall, the environment for Gulf markets is neutral to
slightly negative; Wall Street rose to record highs overnight
but Brent oil futures <LCOc1> fell back below $47 a barrel.

 (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)


This article appears in: Politics , US Markets , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: DANA , TABR

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