MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets narrowly mixed, Dubai holds chart support – Reuters

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* Dubai Parks continues sliding on rights issue

* Etisalat drops after new CEO appointed

* Saudi Research and Marketing jumps on capital gain

* Kuwait Finance House surges on offer to buy affiliate

* Egypt’s Orascom Telecom rebounds from fall on CI Capital

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, March 28 Middle East stock markets were
mostly mixed in narrow ranges and moderate trading volumes on
Monday, as Dubai tested and held technical support and
petrochemical shares supported Saudi Arabia.

The Dubai index closed 0.4 percent lower at 3,266
points, off a low of 3,248 points. It has chart support on its
mid-March low of 3,253 points and any break would trigger a
minor double top formed by the March peaks and indicating a
fresh leg down.

Dubai Parks & Resorts tumbled 6.9 percent in heavy
trade. On Sunday it had pulled back 5.1 percent after proposing
to boost its capital by 1.68 billion dirhams ($458 million)
through a rights issue to finance development of a Six Flags
theme park.

Builder Arabtec added 1.3 percent after it
scheduled a board meeting for Wednesday to discuss its business.

Abu Dhabi fell 0.4 percent as telecommunications firm
Etisalat dropped 0.6 percent. It appointed Saleh
Abdullah al-Abdooli, a veteran of the company who headed its
United Arab Emirates and Egyptian operations, as its new chief
executive; Etisalat said Abdooli would oversee restructuring of
the group but gave no details.

The Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent as
petrochemicals blue chip Saudi Basic Industries
climbed 1.0 percent.

Saudi Research and Marketing rose 6.1 percent
after it said it expected to book a capital gain of 28.85
million British pounds ($41.1 million) in the first quarter from
the sale of a British real estate asset.

Qatar’s index fell 0.8 percent as telecommunications
firm Ooredoo, which had been suspended for its annual
general meeting as the overall market slid on Sunday, dropped
2.2 percent.

Gulf Warehousing rose 2.2 percent in very heavy
trade, however. It has been active since last Tuesday, when the
Qatar Central Securities Depository raised the maximum foreign
ownership percentage in the company’s shares to 49 percent of

However, actual foreign ownership has not increased
significantly since Wednesday and is still standing at 25.6
percent, according to the latest bourse data.

Kuwait Finance House rose 4.1 percent after saying
it had received an offer from investors to buy its stake in
affiliate Aref Investment Group. The Kuwaiti stock index
edged up 0.2 percent.

Egypt’s index fell in early trade as Egyptian
billionaire Naguib Sawiris’s Orascom Telecom continued
sliding. It had dropped 3.8 percent on Sunday after
Sawiris said a bid to acquire CI Capital, the investment arm
of Commercial International Bank (CIB),was being held
up by national security concerns. Sawiris also criticised state
meddling in business that he said would put off investors.

On Monday, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters that
it was expected to go ahead eventually, but that if it did not,
CIB would put CI Capital up for sale again.

Orascom Telecom rebounded in late trade, closing 1.3 percent
higher and helping the Cairo index finish 0.2 percent higher.
CIB shares rose 0.3 percent while Beltone Financial,
the Orascom Telecom subsidiary that is to be the vehicle for the
acquisition, gained 3.5 percent.



* The index rose 0.2 percent to 6,269 points.


* The index gained 0.2 percent to 7,494 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 3,266 points.


* The index dropped 0.4 percent to 4,282 points.


* The index sank 0.8 percent to 10,145 points.


* The index rose 0.2 percent to 5,252 points.


* The index gained 0.2 percent to 5,546 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 1,153 points.

(Editing by Susan Thomas)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets narrowly mixed, Dubai holds chart support – Reuters}