Saudi's Bank Aljazira up on Q4; telecoms gain

Qatar National Bank lifts bourse; UAE property stocks drag down benchmark indexes
Kuwaits index climbed 0.2 percent to 5,734 points
By Reuters
Wed 11 Jan 2012 11:59 AM

Bank Aljazira gave back some of its intraday gains, but still ended at a six-month high after the lender's fourth-quarter profit beat forecasts.

The bank's shares rose 0.6 percent to its highest finish since July 18. It swung to a fourth-quarter net profit of SR110m ($29.33m) from a loss in the same period last year.

The bank index rose 0.3 percent, with SABB the leading stock in the group as it gained 1.5 percent.

Zain Saudi was the heaviest-traded stock on the bourse and climbed 3.6 percent. Saudi Integrated Telecoms Co jumped 10 percent.

The market rose 0.2 percent to 6,486 points, its highest close since late July.

Qatar National Bank rebound to lift Doha's index, but property stocks weighed on Dubai .

QNB ended 1.7 percent higher - a day after investor disappointment at the proposed dividend knocked its shares down the most since late-2009.

"There was a small rebound after retail investors pushed the stock yesterday," said a trader, who declined to be identified.

"The stock is still undervalued and I think it will pass QR150 [$41.20] soon."

QNB ends at 147.5 riyals, nearing Jan. 5's record high of QR155.90.

Other bank stocks followed. Doha Bank jumped 3.1 percent and Commercial Bank of Qatar rose 1.1 percent.

The day's big winner is United Development Company , which leapt 10 percent as investors speculated on possible government investment in the firm.

The stock is down 8.9 percent since United said in late December it was in talks to issue 80 million new shares to a state pension fund. Such a move would dilute existing shareholders.

Doha's measure rose 1 percent to 8,711 points.

In Dubai, Tabreed dropped 3.2 percent, while builder Arabtec and Emaar Properties fell 1.8 and 1.2 percent respectively.

The emirate's index ended 0.5 percent lower at 1,334 points, nearing December's seven-year low.

In Abu Dhabi, Sorouh Real Estate dropped 2.6 percent and Aldar Properties fell 2.4 percent. The two stocks accounted for more than half of all shares traded on the index, which rose 0.1 percent to 2,365 points.

Volumes are expected to remain low in January as investors await company results or other catalysts before parting with their cash.

"We are still seeing a lack of investment at current levels," Marwan Shurrab, vice president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments, said.

"Investors are still waiting for catalysts to build positions, but there is nothing coming from international markets so they remain on the sides."

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