MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises before oil meeting, Egypt firm – Reuters

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* Saudi index climbs for third straight day

* Alinma Tokio rises after cutting annual net loss

* GFH Financial gains after Abu Dhabi group boosts stake

* Qatar’s Ezdan Holding falls on Q4 earnings

* Qatar Investors Group plunges after it proposes delisting

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Feb 17 Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose
on Wednesday before an oil producers’ meeting that could help
support crude prices, while Egypt’s bourse was aided by a firm
global tone for equities. Most Gulf markets were little changed.

Iran’s oil minister was meeting his counterparts from Iraq,
Qatar and Venezuela in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon to discuss
a proposal for major producers to freeze output at January

Even if an agreement can be reached, many investors doubt it
will be respected in the long term, or that it will boost oil
prices much.

But the prospect of some action to improve the oil market
helped the Saudi stock index rise 1.1 percent in its
third straight day of gains. Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic
Industries gained 1.5 percent.

Insurer Alinma Tokio rose 3.8 percent in unusually
heavy trade after it said it had narrowed its net loss to 21.9
million riyals ($5.8 million) last year from 29.4 million riyals
in 2014.

Dar Al Arkan rose 1.1 percent, recovering from a
loss of the same size on Tuesday after Moody’s lowered its
credit rating of the real estate developer to B1 with a negative
outlook from BA3 with a stable outlook.

Other Gulf stock markets were less volatile. Dubai’s index
edged down 0.3 percent as real estate blue chip Emaar
Properties slid 1.1 percent.

But GFH Financial gained 1.4 percent after Abu
Dhabi Financial Group’s capital markets arm, Integrated Capital,
said it had increased its stake in GFH to 10 percent. Previously
its stake was 7.4 percent, according to bourse data.

Shipper Gulf Navigation, the most heavily traded
stock, surged 8.3 percent. It has been strong since it reported
early this week that its profit doubled last year.

Abu Dhabi edged up 0.2 percent as Abu Dhabi Islamic
Bank climbed 1.9 percent, but the rest of the 10 most
heavily traded stocks barely moved.

Qatar’s index fell 0.6 percent as Ezdan Holding
dropped 1.4 percent after reporting a 27.3 percent
rise in fourth-quarter net profit and proposing a higher cash
dividend for 2015.

Qatar Investors Group plunged 9.0 percent after it
proposed delisting from the exchange and becoming a private
shareholding company. An extraordinary general meeting on Feb.
24 will discuss the proposal.

Salam International Investment, which usually
trades only thinly, was the most active stock and surged 3.1

Egypt’s index rose 0.9 percent on the back of real
estate firms, with Palm Hills Development gaining 4.0



* The index rose 1.1 percent to 5,802 points.


* The index climbed 0.9 percent to 5,948 points.


* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 3,057 points.


* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 4,149 points.


* The index fell 0.6 percent to 9,815 points.


* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 5,146 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,361 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 1,168 points.

(editing by Dominic Evans)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises before oil meeting, Egypt firm – Reuters}