MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar gain on financials; cement makers lift Saudi
By Ateeq Shariff
April 24 (Reuters) - Egypt's blue-chip index and the Qatar stock market rose modestly on Wednesday, buoyed by their financial shares, while the Saudi index edged up on the back of its cement producers.
The Egyptian index .EGX30 rose 0.9 percent, after its largest lender Commercial International Bank COMI.CA increased 0.6 percent and Egypt Kuwait Holding EKHO.CA rebounded 3.7 percent after trading ex-dividend on Tuesday.
Eastern Company EAST.CA inched up 0.1 percent. On Monday, HC Research raised its rating on the cigarette maker to 'neutral' from 'underweight'.
"We remain positive on Egypt. Supported by broad reforms and with multiple catalysts ahead (stable or falling interest rates, continued recovery in tourism, increased gas output), Egypt markets have the potential to deliver healthy returns," Al Mal Capital said in a note.
Qatar's blue-chip index .QSI closed 0.7 percent higher with Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA adding 2.8 percent and Commercial Bank COMB.QA gaining 3.3 percent to its highest level since October 2015.
Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) QGTS.QA was up 1.4 percent, extending its gains for the fifth session. On Sunday, the transport firm reported a 9 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit.
Saudi's index .TASI was up 0.1 percent, helped by its cement companies. Al Jouf Cement 3091.SE added 0.8 percent after signing a memorandum of understanding to convert its second production line to produce white cement.
Qassim Cement 3040.SE was the top percentage gainer on the index, rising 6.5 percent. The firm reported a drop in first-quarter profit, but posted a 3.7 percent gain in its sales and proposed a divided of 0.60 riyal per share.
Al Moammar Information Systems 7200.SE rose 4.9 pct to 47.20 riyals on its first day of trading, above its offer price of 45 riyals per share.
The Abu Dhabi index .ADX retreated 0.2 percent, snapping five-days of gains, after the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD slid 0.7 percent.
Dubai's index .DFMGI lost 0.3 percent, with Emaar Properties EMAR.DU sliding 2 percent and its unit Emaar Malls EMAA.DU shedding 1.7 percent.
Emaar Malls' shareholders approved cancellation of the constitutive regulation of its employees' incentive programme.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du) DU.DU declined 1.4 percent. The telecom operator reported a 12 percent drop in its first-quarter profit.
The index <.TASI. was up 0.1 pct at 9,238 points
The index .ADI fell 0.2 pct to 5,395 points
The index .DFMGI lost 0.3 pct to 2,803 points
The index .QSI added 0.7 pct to 10,458 points
The index .EGX30 rose 0.9 pct to 14,770 points
The index .BAX was flat at 1,438 points
The index .MSI slipped 0.2 pct to 3,950 points
The index .BKP was up 0.4 pct at 6,170 points
($1 = 3.7500 riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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