STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-UAE mkts end higher; Qatar up from 4-mth low

1035 GMT - UAE markets extend gains on the first day of

trading after a long-weekend, but investors book most of the

intraday gains on Dubai's measure.

Courier firm Aramex climbs 1 percent. The stock

jumped 14.4 percent mid-session on what traders say was a

technical error.

Emaar Properties and Air Arabia add 0.5

and 1.7 percent respectively.

The emirate's index ends 0.2 percent higher at

1,611 points, having rallied to 1,631 points.

Dubai has recovered nearly 19 percent since slumping to a

seven-and-half-year low on Jan. 16 and analyst expect further

upside to the market as it heads into 2013.

"People have to believe in the next 12 months, banks will

reach peak non-performing loan ratio- then impairments will come

down and profits will increase," says an Abu Dhabi-based trader

who asked not to be identified. "There are plus points that

people will bear in mind for 2013. You may see buying coming in

on weakness in UAE."

Abu Dhabi's benchmark ticks up 0.09 percent to finish

at 2,677 points, up for a third straight session.

Elsewhere, Doha's index rises 0.3 percent to 8,354

points, easing away from Monday's four-month low.

Oman's measure ends 0.1 percent higher at 5,564

points, while Kuwait's bourse falls 0.8 percent to 5,907

points, down from Monday's seven-week high.

----------------------------------------------------------------

0846 GMT - Egypt's bourse rallies after the Supreme Judicial

Council cleared the way for a referendum on a new constitution

which President Mohamed Mursi hopes will end a political crisis

that has split the country.

Cairo's benchmark rises 2.9 percent to 4,965

points, with trading volatile since Mursi's decree on Nov. 22

that expanded his powers and sparked widespread protests.

Some judges had called for their colleagues to shun the Dec.

15 plebiscite, which must be supervised by the judiciary like

all elections in Egypt. But the council's decision suggests

enough officials can be mobilised to oversee the vote.

All except two stocks gain. Commercial International Bank

climbs 4.4 percent, Orascom Construction Industries

adds 2.8 percent and National Societe Generale Bank

jumps 5.9 percent.

Elsewhere, large-caps drag Saudi Arabia's market from a

two-week high.

The kingdom's index slips 0.4 percent to 6,705

points. The bourse fell to a 10-month low on Nov. 27 as regional

tensions and worries over the king's health weighed.

Many analysts claim stock valuations are attractive at

current levels.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) slips 0.3

percent, Etihad Etisalat sheds 0.7 percent and Samba

Financial Group declines 0.4 percent.

--------------------------------------------------

0730 GMT - Kuwait's bourse slips from a seven-week high as

investors book recent gains while UAE markets edge higher after

a long weekend.

Kuwait's index declines 0.4 percent to 5,934 points,

trimming year-to-date gains to 2.2 percent.

Ten of the largest stocks on the index are flat, while

selling is focus in small-to-mid caps.

National Ranges slips 2.4 percent, Kuwait

International Bank sheds 1.7 percent and Sokouk

Holding dips 2.3 percent.

Elsewhere, Dubai's measure gains 0.2 percent to

1,612 points, extending year-to-date gains to 19.2 percent, the

best performing Gulf market.

Budget carrier Air Arabia climbs 1.5 percent,

Drake & Scull rises 0.7 percent and Emaar Properties

gains 0.5 percent.

"We've been closed the longest and obviously there's some

catching up to do," says an Abu Dhabi-based trader who asked not

to be identified. "In the next two to three weeks, you'll see

people looking to buy on weakness as bias comes back from brave

buyers. We've had some poor years but the market turned around

in 2012 and there's renewed appetite now."

Dubai's market lost 77 percent of its value since the

beginning of 2008 till the end of 2011. Analysts are now

expecting a revival in the property sector and an approaching

peak for bank's non-performing loans to help support buying on

these markets.

Abu Dhabi's measure climbs 0.1 percent to 2,678

points, up 11.5 percent so far this year.

UAE's Dana Gas trades flat, recovering

early-session declines and accounting for nearly half the traded

values on the bourse. The energy firm said it received $480

million in payment for Iraq fuels.

Dana is in talks to restructure a $920 million Islamic bond,

offering bondholders cash and an average 8 percent coupon on

two new sukuks to replace the existing one, sources said.

Bondholders will be paid between $80 million and $90 million

in cash and the new bonds will be equally split between a sukuk

and a convertible bond.

"The worry is that the portion of convertible sukuk poses a

risk to equity investors and to buy at these levels. If we see

details on the conversation and it receives other payments, you

will get interest back on the equity for Dana," the trader adds.

Elsewhere, Qatar's measure gains 0.3 percent to 8,352

points and Oman's index climbs 0.1 percent to 5,564

points.

----------------------------------------------------------------

0550 GMT - Regional politics will guide Middle East

investors on Tuesday, with bargain hunters looking for

opportunities in Egypt should the country's political crisis

ease.

Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council has cleared the way for a

referendum on a new constitution which President Mohamed Mursi

hopes will ease tensions between his Islamist supporters and

opponents.

Widespread protests broke out recently over a decree Mursi

issued on Nov. 22 that greatly expanded his powers.

Cairo's benchmark index lost 1.4 percent on Monday,

edging towards last week's four-month low on fears that a

conflict between the judiciary and government bodies would

intensify.

"Internal issues are overshadowing (international) story

lines, which have faded to a certain extent," says Akber Naqvi,

hedge fund portfolio manager at Al Masah Capital.

"Europe is not as volatile. It's obvious why regional

markets are looking inwards. Once it changes, they could go back

to following the international lead."

In Kuwait, the ruler accepted the government's resignation

on Monday, a step designed to make way for a new cabinet after

parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition.

Under the constitution, a new government must be formed

before the first session of the new parliament. Emir Sheikh

Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said the new parliament would convene on

Dec. 16.

The chamber is expected to be more cooperative with the

government than its predecessor because of the opposition

boycott of the vote.

Analysts hope this will kick-start a long-stalled 30 billion

dinars ($106.50 billion) development plan.

In the United Arab Emirates, trading will resume after a

two-day public holiday for National Day.

Elsewhere, Asian shares slipped on Tuesday after a plunge

in U.S. manufacturing activity hit American stocks and the

dollar, while the euro hovered near a six-week high on optimism

over Greece's plan to buy back debt.

(Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Matt Smith)

Most Popular in Business