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Dubai's Arabtec shines, Egypt rises in slack markets

A trader walks past the quotation board at the Abu Dhabi stock market July 11, 2006. REUTERS/Ravindranath

A trader walks past the quotation board at the Abu Dhabi stock market July 11, 2006. REUTERS/Ravindranath

REUTERS/Ravindranath


By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, May 4 (Reuters) - Arabtec's shares rose after the Dubai builder swung to its first quarterly net profit since September 2014, bucking the trend in most of the region's markets which followed global bourses and oil prices lower on Thursday.

"The return to profitability (at Arabtec) is a good indicator and we believe there will be no negative surprises in the near term," said Allen Sandeep, head of equities research at Naeem Brokerage.

Arabtec's board approved a 1.5 billion dirham rights issue on Monday and Sandeep maintained a "hold" rating on its shares until after the capital hike is completed this month, when he will reassess his recommendation.

Drake & Scull , another Dubai builder hit hard by low oil prices and austerity measures, rose 1.1 percent. The Dubai index closed the day and the week almost flat.

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Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.6 percent, erasing all of the gains made earlier in the week, with fallers outnumbering rising stocks by 135 to 22.

National Shipping Co (Bahri) rose 0.8 percent after the crude oil transporter said lower commodity prices and higher bunker costs had hit its bottom line, but its fleet expansion had helped it to expand market share.

Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co climbed 2.2 percent after it reported a rise in full-year net profit, which it attributed mainly to low soft commodity costs and "careful expense management". The board recommended an annual cash dividend of 4 riyals per share.

Saudi Airlines Catering fell 0.3 percent after its board recommended a cash dividend for the first quarter of 1.25 riyals, lower than the 1.75 riyals it distributed a year ago. The company's net profit fell 6.9 percent to 121.4 million riyals, while total revenue decreased 5 percent.

Qatar's index fell 0.2 percent, its third consecutive session of declines, to a five-month low. Oil-related shares were some of the worst performers, with oil rig provider Gulf International Services dropping 2.2 percent.

The Qatari index fell 1.8 percent for the week, the worst performer in the region.

Telecommunications operator Ooredoo , however, rebounded 1.1 percent after falling earlier this week on news that three other Gulf mobile operators were bidding for an Omani licence, which could hurt its Omani unit, Ooredoo Oman .

Abu Dhabi's index added 0.8 percent on the back of gains in large banks, with First Abu Dhabi Bank up 1.8 percent.

In Egypt, the index climbed 0.8 percent in modest volume, with Arabian Cement rising 1.9 percent. Naeem analysts said they expected weak performances at most Egyptian cement producers given a slowdown in construction activity, but Arabian Cement could be an exception due to its export business.



HIGHLIGHTS



SAUDI ARABIA



* The index fell 0.6 percent to 6,924 points.



DUBAI



* The index edged up 0.02 percent to 3,420 points.



ABU DHABI



* The index added 0.8 percent to 4,617 points.



QATAR



* The index fell 0.2 percent to 9,938 points.



EGYPT



* The index added 0.8 percent to 12,710 points.



KUWAIT



* The index fell 0.7 percent to 6,753 points.



BAHRAIN



* The index was flat at 1,331 points.

OMAN



* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 5,476 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Alexander Smith) ((celine.aswad@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6224 7653)(Reuters Messaging: celine.aswad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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