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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises for a fourth day, UAE markets retreat

Credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER

Saudi Arabian shares rose for a fourth straight day on Tuesday on expectations of further capital inflows into the market, while Abu Dhabi and Dubai fell after rising in recent sessions.

June 11 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian shares rose for a fourth straight day on Tuesday on expectations of further capital inflows into the market, while Abu Dhabi and Dubai fell after rising in recent sessions.

The Saudi index .TASI was up 0.4% in early trading. Financials were the biggest boost with Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE and Alinma Bank 1150.SE gaining 1% each. Saudi Telecom 7010.SE traded 1.3% higher.

The index has gained over 13% year-to-date, outperforming other major Gulf peers in a rally led by foreign investors, who have been net buyers of Saudi stocks every month this year.

A third tranche of the FTSE Russell emerging market index will kick in this month after Saudi stocks were included in two tranches in March and April.

Late last month the Saudi equity market joined the MSCI Emerging Market index, which is expected to trigger billions of dollars of foreign fund inflows.

Malath Cooperative Insurance 8020.SE added 3.1% after it renewed a vehicle insurance contract with Arab National Bank 1080.SE for a year with premiums from the deal expected to exceed 5% of the firm's total annual sales.

Qatar's index .QSI rose 0.5% with banks leading the gains. The market heavyweight, lender Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, climbed 1.4% and Doha Bank DOBK.QA jumped 5.1% ahead of a split of their stocks taking effect later this week.

A 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9, aiming to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI fell 0.4% after rising in five of last six sessions, with all financial shares sliding.

First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, was down 0.5% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ADIB.AD slipped 1.1%.

Qatar this week placed further restrictions on First Abu Dhabi Bank as it continues a probe into alleged currency manipulation begun after the UAE and other Arab states launched a boycott against Qatar in mid-2017.

The Regulatory Authority of Qatar Financial Center said on Sunday it was prohibiting the bank from undertaking any new business for customers of its Doha branch. FAB has denied the charges of currency manipulation.

In Dubai, the index .DFMGI was down 0.3% after three days of successive gains, pushed lower by real estate and financial stocks.

The emirate's blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU shed 0.7%, while Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU decreased 0.4%. The lender rose in the last session after its board recommended the acquisition of private lender Noor Bank.

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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