Dubai's property stocks drop, most Gulf markets slide


Feb 27 () - Dubai's stock market fell in early trading on Wednesday, a day after reaching a three-month high, as all its property shares declined. Most major Gulf markets slid.

The Dubai index dipped 0.4 percent, with Emaar Properties losing 0.8 percent and its retail arm, Emaar Malls, falling 2.2 percent.

Emaar Malls bought the 49 percent of e-commerce fashion website Namshi it did not own from Global Fashion Group for 475.5 million dirhams ($129.47 million).

Fourth-quarter results at Emaar Properties' unit, Emaar Development, had improved sentiment in the Dubai financial market and in real estate stocks in particular, Al Mal Capital had said in a note.

Saudi Arabia's main index dipped 0.2 percent, pressured by its banks. Samba Financial Group declined 1.9 percent and Saudi British Bank shed 0.4 percent.

Saudi Industrial Development fell 1.4 percent after reporting its full-year net loss widened. Travel services provider Al Tayyar lost 1.4 percent after posting a loss for the year, following a 421 million-riyal ($112.26 million) loss on disposal of its investments.

Qatar's index was down 0.6 percent, primarily pulled down by a 9.9 percent plunge in United Development, despite the company's approving the distribution of a 10 percent cash dividend.

But Qatar International Islamic Bank rose 0.9 percent after saying its board recommended increasing a foreign ownership limit to 49 percent from its current 25 percent. The company's annual general meeting is set for March 10.

The Abu Dhabi index also fell 0.6 percent, led by a decline in its financial shares. First Abu Dhabi Bank, the stock with the biggest weighting on the index, dropped 0.9 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was down 2 percent.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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