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Middle East Shares Mixed, Egypt Gains After Government's International Sovereign Bond Issue

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MidEast stocks were mixed, with Egypt gaining on its first day back from a holiday and after the government's international sovereign bond issue.

Egypt's government was set to sell $4 billion of Eurobonds in three tranches, raising twice as much as targeted when it began a roadshow last week, and at lower yields than initially expected.

Meanwhile, International equity index compiler MSCI said again it could launch in June a study on whether to include Saudi Arabia in its emerging market index.

On Monday, Kuwait's government plans to announce details of its long-term economic development plan, which could be positive for the stock market if the government gives more impetus to big infrastructure projects.

In company news, Nama Chemicals announced the main elements of a recovery plan after accumulated losses exceeded 75% of its capital. The plan includes eventually increasing capital to finance production of specialty chemical products and boost capacity, and the sale of assets of an investment affiliate, Reuters reported.

Abdullah Abdul Mohsin al-Khodari and Sons said the total value of its delayed work as of Dec. 31 was 312.7 million riyals ($83.4 million), slightly better thanthe previous quarter.

Qatar International Islamic Bank reported a 7% fall in Q4 net profit to 118.4 million riyals ($32.5 million), slightly below QNB Financial Services' forecast of 126.2 million riyals.

Qatar Cement said annual net profit jumped to 475.1 million riyals from 463.6 million. Its board proposed an annual cash dividend of 40 percent, and a 10% bonus share issue.

Alexandria Flour Mills and Bakeries Co said first-half net profit rose to 24.4 million Egyptian pounds ($1.3 million) from 19.8 million pounds a year ago.

Saudi Arabia's main index inched up 0.1% to 7,135 points, Dubai added 0.6% to 3,701 points, Abu Dhabi firmed 0.4% to 4,624 points, Qatar dipped 0.4% to 10,990 points, Egypt jumped 1.6%, Kuwait rose 0.5% to 6,852 points, Oman eased 0.2% to 5,751 points and Bahrain slipped 0.02% to 1,300 points.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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