November 14, 2019 / 8:08 AM / 25 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf equities dip; Emirates NBD leads Dubai higher

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Most Gulf markets were down in early trade on Thursday, while Dubai outperformed its regional peers due to a surge in Emirates NBD.

Dubai’s main index was up 1.2%, with Emirates NBD gaining 3.6% after the emirate’s largest lender confirmed the sale of 31 million shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds ($204.74 million).

Emaar Development rose 1.1% after it signed a sale and purchase agreement for units in tower 1 of the Creek Edge project.

Dubai’s amusement park operator DXB Entertainment, however, slid 2.4% after reporting a loss of 268.2 million dirhams ($73.02 million). Its accumulated losses stand at 5.02 billion dirhams.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index was down 0.2%with Al Rajhi Bank and the kingdom’s largest lender by assets National Commercial Bank losing 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively.

Taiba Investments fell 1.8%, a day after its board proposed a marginally lower cash dividend for the first quarter of 2019.

The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.1% as telecoms operator Etisalat lost 0.2%, while Gulf Cement plunged 8%, its biggest fall since October.

The cement producer posted a net loss of 3.9 million dirhams, compared with a profit of 1.6 million dirhams a year ago.

Qatar’s main index was also down 0.1%, due to a 0.8% fall in Industries Qatar and a 1.2% drop in Mesaieed Petrochemicals.

However, the index’s fall was cushioned by gains in the financial sector. Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.6%, whereas Commercial Bank was up 0.9%.

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham $1 = 0.7815 pounds Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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