MIDEAST STOCKS-Food sector and firmer oil price lifts Saudi index, Egypt market dips – Reuters

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* Saudi’s Almarai spurs food sector bulls

* Petrochemicals add support after oil prices firm

* Egypt down despite potential Saudi investment

* Dubai climbs to five-month high

* Real estate and energy stocks lift Abu Dhabi

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, April 10 Food companies buoyed the Saudi
stock market on Sunday after better than expected
results from the region’s largest dairy food producer while a
visit by the king of Saudi Arabia to Egypt failed to lift the
Cairo bourse.

The Saudi index advanced 1.4 percent after dairy
producer Almarai reported a slight rise in
first-quarter net profit in a challenging market. Almarai’s
shares rose by 3.6 percent, helping the food sector to
a 4.2 percent gain.

Savola, which has a 36.5 percent stake in Almarai,
jumped 6 percent to 44.10 riyals and is Riyadh-based NCB
Capital’s top pick in the sector.

Shares in Jarir Marketing, one of the kingdom’s
largest retailers by market value, shrugged off a 29.5 percent
drop in first-quarter net profit and gained 2.4 percent to
117.75 riyals.

Riyad Capital rates Jarir a “buy”, with a target price of
189 riyals, citing its attractive dividend yield as a factor in
its rating.

Construction and engineering contractor Alkhodari
edged up 0.4 percent after it booked a 15 million riyal ($4
million) profit from the sale of some of its equipment last
week. The revenue will be reflected in the second quarter.

The petrochemical sector was another strong performer,
spurred by Friday’s rebound in oil prices, with Saudi Basic
Industries (SABIC) climbing 2 percent.

In Cairo, Egypt’s main index fell 1 percent, with
investor caution prevailing despite the visit by Saudi King

“There are no direct indications yet of grants, aid or
central bank deposits by the Saudis to Egypt,” said Allen
Sandeep, head of research at Cairo’s Naeem Brokerage, adding
that the market resumed the correction that began after Egypt’s
mid-March currency devaluation.

Bourse data showed that local and foreign traders were net
sellers on Sunday, while non-Egyptian Arab investors were net

Orascom Telecom and investment company Qalaa
Holding each fell by 2.6 percent.


Dubai’s index added 1.4 percent to a five-month
high of 3,434 points, with trades mainly concentrated in mid-cap

Builders Arabtec and Drake and Scull,
which accounted for 40 percent of total volumes, added 4.1
percent and 1 percent respectively.

Arabtec, which has yet to report earnings, closed at 1.80
dirhams and is now considered overvalued by analysts. The
average target price in a Reuters poll of eight analysts was
1.10 dirhams.

Real estate-related stocks helped to propel the Abu Dhabi
index 0.7 percent higher ahead of this week’s Cityscape
exhibition, at which a number of developers are expected to
announce new projects. Eshraq Properties jumped by 8.9

Energy stocks also performed well. Dana Gas and
Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) surged by 11.1
percent and 3.9 percent respectively.



* The index added 1.4 percent to 6,346 points.


* The index fell 1 percent to 7,404 points.


* The index gained 1.4 percent to 3,434 points.


* The index advanced 0.7 percent to 4,381 points.


* The index edged down 0.4 percent to 10,129 points.


* The index edged up 0.4 percent to 5,251 points.


* The index increased 0.8 percent to 5,652points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 1,118 points.

(Editing by David Goodman)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Food sector and firmer oil price lifts Saudi index, Egypt market dips – Reuters}