MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals lift Saudi, rest of region sluggish – Reuters

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* Oil hits 2016 high above $47 a barrel

* Saudi’s Al Tayyar surges on tourism industry hopes

* Dubai Islamic Bank sinks on Q1 earnings

* Emaar Properties slides as it goes ex-dividend

* Qatar First Bank sucks up trading volume on listing

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, April 27 Petrochemical stocks and a few
shares expected to benefit from Saudi Arabia’s economic reform
plans lifted the Riyadh market on Wednesday while other Gulf
bourses were sluggish.

The main Saudi stock index added 0.9 percent as the
biggest petrochemical maker, Saudi Basic Industries,
gained 1.5 percent after Brent oil rose as high as
$47.05 a barrel, its highest this year.

Another producer, Saudi Kayan, was the most
heavily traded stock and rose 5.2 percent.

Al Tayyar Travel jumped 7.7 percent in unusually
heavy trade after the Saudi reform plan unveiled this week
emphasised the need to develop the tourism sector, though no
details were given.

Also, a joint venture between Al Tayyar and Dubai-based
Equinox signed a deal with New York-listed Choice Hotels
International to develop the Clarion, Comfort and
Quality hotel brands in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi

Property developer Al Andalus, which listed in
January, rose 1.4 percent after saying it would pay its first
dividend, of 0.5 riyal per share for 2015.

Elsewhere in the Gulf the mood was more subdued, with
Dubai’s index dropping 1.6 percent. Emaar Properties
lost 1.7 percent as it went ex-dividend.

Dubai Islamic Bank sank 3.6 percent after it
posted a 7.2 percent increase in first-quarter net attributable
profit to 875.3 million dirhams ($238.3 million), below EFG
Hermes’ forecast of 938 million dirhams.

The Abu Dhabi market was almost flat as Union
National Bank, which is expected to report
first-quarter earnings as soon as Thursday, dropped 3.5 percent.

Qatar’s index slipped by 0.2 percent as Dlala
Brokerage fell 2.4 percent after reporting
first-quarter profit had fallen to 446,000 riyals ($123,000)
6.43 million riyals a year earlier.

Much trading interest was sucked up by Qatar First Bank
, which listed on Wednesday and was the day’s most
heavily traded stock. It initially rose but closed with a 7.7
percent fall.



* The index gained 0.9 percent to 6,820 points.


* The index fell 1.6 percent to 3,507 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,588 points.


* The index fell 0.3 percent to 7,864 points.


* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 10,160 points.


* The index rose 0.5 percent to 5,429 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,939 points.


* The index was flat at 1,112 points.

(Editing by David Goodman)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals lift Saudi, rest of region sluggish – Reuters}