MIDEAST STOCKS-Real estate firms hurt Dubai; Qatar extends gains
By Ateeq Shariff
Sept 3 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market reversed course to end lower on Tuesday, hurt by its property shares, while blue-chip lenders helped Qatar outperform major markets in the region.
In Dubai, the index .DFMGI fell 0.5%, with all its real estate stocks tumbling. Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, the emirate's largest listed developer, lost 2.3%, while its units Emaar Malls EMAA.DU and Emaar Development EMAARDEV.DU were both 2.1% and 2.2% respectively.
Heavy oversupply in the property market, an important sector of Dubai's economy, has seen residential prices slide by at least a quarter since mid-2014.
On Monday, Dubai set up a real estate planning commission to regulate projects and avoid competition between semi-government and private firms, in a move designed to address the property market slump.
However, Emirates NBD ENBD.DU gained a further 2.7%, extending gains for a second day in a row. On Monday, the lender soared 14.9%, reaching its highest level since October 2007, after the bank said that it had raised its foreign ownership limit to 20% from 5% with immediate effect.
The Qatari index .QSI added 0.3%, stretching gains for the fourth straight session, with Qatar International Islamic Bank QIIB.QA surging 5.3% and Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, the Gulf's largest lender by assets, closing 1.1% higher.
The Saudi index .TASI slipped 0.6%, driven down by a 1% fall in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE, and a 2.4% drop in Riyad Bank 1010.SE.
The index took a breather on Monday as it has been sliding since Wednesday mainly pressured by its lenders.
Investment bank EFG Hermes had said on Wednesday that the investment case for Saudi banks is no longer "compelling" against a backdrop of receding passive fund flows and the emergence of credit quality concerns among others.
Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 declined 0.7%, snapping a four-day winning streak, with most of its blue-chip shares tumbling. Commercial International Bank COMI.CA was down 0.9% and Eastern Company EAST.CA traded 3.5% lower.
Non-Arab foreigners were net buyers of stocks during the session and Egyptians and Arabs were net sellers, according to the stock exchange.
Back in the Gulf, the Abu Dhabi index .ADI lost 1% with First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender losing 1.1% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ADCB.AD shedding 2.6%.
The index .TASI dropped 0.6% to 7,924 points
The index .ADI lost 1% to 5,105 points
The index .DFMGI was down 0.5% at 2,876 points
The index .QSI increased 0.3% to 10,300 points
The index .EGX30 down 0.7% to 15,000 points
The index .BAX added 0.2% to 1,543 points
The index .MSI gained 0.4% to 4,017 points
The index .BKP was up 0.1% at 6,560 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.