MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourse indexes diverge but end the month at a loss – Reuters

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* May marks worst month for region’s share markets since

* Saudi rebounds but volumes are the lowest since October

* Yansab and SABIC lead petrochemical shares up on positive

* Dubai recovers earlier losses as mid and large cap shares

* Abu Dhabi, Qatar edge lower

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, May 31 Share market indexes in the Middle
East diverged on Tuesday, with Saudi Arabia’s index
outperforming peers as some positive news lifted shares, but all
markets ended with losses for the month.

Riyadh’s index rebounded 1.4 percent, ending three
sessions of declines, although volumes were the lowest since
last October.

The index was down 5.3 percent in May, its worst monthly
performance since the start of the year.

Market heavyweight Yanbu National Petrochemicals
(Yansab),jumped 6.5 percent after the company announced late on
Monday that its proposed interim dividend was increased to 1.5
riyals per share, a 50 percent increase on the same period last

“We expect the company to pay a dividend of 2.5 riyals per
share in 2016, and based on this the dividend yield is expected
to be 6.3 percent,” NCB Capital said in a note.

Total dividends in 2015 and 2014 were two and three riyals

Meanwhile Saudi Basic Industries climbed 2.5
percent, after the company said on Monday it had signed an
agreement with Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group
to build a petrochemical complex in China.

“The markets were caught in a lull for the past several
sessions and although activity remains quiet markets were driven
today by some positive news about SABIC’s new deal in China and
the ability of companies to continue paying out dividends
despite negative pressure on the bottom line,” said a
Riyadh-based portfolio manager.

Yamamah Steel, which was listd on the exchange
this month, surged 6.6 percent after the company said it will
pay a cash dividend of 1.5 riyals per share. This prompted
investors to buy shares in other shares, such as Saudi Cable
, which climbed 4.5 percent.

Dubai’s index managed to recover earlier losses and
edged up 0.2 percent, but closed down 5.1 percent for the month,
its first monthly loss since January.

Air Arabia, the only listed airliner in the Gulf,
climbed 3.1 percent while Emaar Properties, the
largest listed real estate developer, rose 0.2 percent.

In Cairo, the main index gained 0.4 percent in this
week’s highest trading volumes, with both local and regional
traders buying Egyptian shares, bourse data showed.

Oriental Weavers Carpet rose 1.1 percent despite
the company posting a 38 percent drop in profits to 94.167
million Egyptian pounds ($10.60 million).


Abu Dhabi’s index slid 0.2 percent in thin trade,
taking its monthly losses to 6.5 percent.

Banking shares, the largest sector by market value, were a
mixed bag. The largest lender by market cap, First Gulf Bank
lost 1.3 percent while the second largest, National
Bank of Abu Dhabi gained 2.5 percent.

Etisalat, the largest stock by market value and a
constituent of the MSCI emerging market index,
added 0.6 percent.

Fellow MSCI emerging market index constituent Qatar Gas
Transport also gained, adding 3 percent. But Doha’s
index slid 0.1 percent.



* The index rose 1.4 percent to 6,448 points.


* The index added 0.2 percent to 3,314 points.


* The index dropped 0.2 percent to 4,250 points.


* The index declined 0.1 percent to 9,539 points.


* The index edged up 0.4 percent to 7,483 points.


* The index gained 0.4 percent to 5,400 points.


* The index fell 0.5 percent to 5,811 points.


* The index added 1.6 percent to 1,111 points.

($1 = 8.8799 Egyptian pounds)

(Editing by Larry King, Greg Mahlich)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourse indexes diverge but end the month at a loss – Reuters}