amwalalghad :: Arab

Your English Portal To Arab Economy

GMC GROUP FOR INDUSTRIAL COMME   1.29        Telecom Egypt   11.48        Ismailia Misr Poultry   2.45        El Arabia for Investment & Dev   0.34        Modern Company For Water Proof   1.03        Pioneers Holding   2.84        Ezz Steel   7.86        Egyptian Real Estate Group   6.85        Rakta Paper Manufacturing   4.39        Orascom Telecom Holding (OT)   3.92        Naeem Holding   0.19        Egyptian Iron & Steel   6.87        Universal For Paper and Packag   4.94        Northern Upper Egypt Developme   4.93        Canal Shipping Agencies   7.39        Misr Chemical Industries   5.65        United Arab Shipping   0.43        Egyptians Housing Development    1.94        Egyptian for Tourism Resorts   0.69        Modern Shorouk Printing & Pack   7        Upper Egypt Contracting   0.8        Egyptian Financial Group-Herme   7.42        Orascom Construction Industrie   240.82        Heliopolis Housing   21.65        Raya Holding For Technology An   4.57        United Housing & Development   8.93        International Agricultural Pro   2.1        Gulf Canadian Real Estate Inve   18.08        Alexandria Pharmaceuticals   45.71        Arab Cotton Ginning   2.46        Egyptian Chemical Industries (   7.26        National Real Estate Bank for    11.84        Six of October Development & I   15.03        National Development Bank   6.72        Oriental Weavers   20.66        Arab Gathering Investment   16.29        Egyptians Abroad for Investmen   2.75        Palm Hills Development Company   1.61        Credit Agricole Egypt   9.04        Remco for Touristic Villages C   2.13        Commercial International Bank    29.87        El Ezz Porcelain (Gemma)   1.9        Egyptian Starch & Glucose   5.4        Arab Real Estate Investment (A   0.41        South Valley Cement   3.12        Citadel Capital - Common Share   2.5        Union National Bank - Egypt "    3.25        Ceramic & Porcelain   2.88        Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad)   5.05        El Nasr Transformers (El Maco)   4.78        Egyptian Media Production City   2.31        GB AUTO   27        Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS)   7.85        Sharkia National Food   3.78        El Kahera Housing   4.97        El Shams Housing & Urbanizatio   2.45        Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding   0.7        ARAB POLVARA SPINNING & WEAVIN   2.11        Cairo Poultry   8.32        Egyptian Financial & Industria   8        T M G Holding   4.03        Asek Company for Mining - Asco   10.66        Misr Hotels   27        Egyptian Electrical Cables   0.56        Medinet Nasr Housing   22.51        Mena Touristic & Real Estate I   1.21        ELSWEDY CABLES   18        Prime Holding   0.91        Al Arafa Investment And Consul   0.17        Alexandria Spinning & Weaving    0.74        Gharbia Islamic Housing Develo   8.41        General Company For Land Recla   16.6        Alexandria Cement   8.9        Arab Valves Company   0.94        Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals   12.4        TransOceans Tours   0.09        Egyptian for Developing Buildi   6.43        Egyptian Gulf Bank   1.24        Kafr El Zayat Pesticides   18.19        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   35.1        National company for maize pro   11.86        Delta Construction & Rebuildin   4.03        Zahraa Maadi Investment & Deve   48.25        Samad Misr -EGYFERT   3.52        Egypt for Poultry   1.41        Cairo Development and Investme   11.7        Cairo Pharmaceuticals   20.1        Maridive & oil services   0.9        Suez Canal Bank   3.75        Nile Pharmaceuticals   15.81        The Arab Dairy Products Co. AR   73.85        National Housing for Professio   14.39        El Ahli Investment and Develop   4.87        Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank   10.79        Ismailia National Food Industr   5.16        National Societe Generale Bank   25.52        Acrow Misr   19.16        Alexandria Mineral Oils Compan   63.63        Paper Middle East (Simo)   5.59        Egypt Aluminum   12.31        Giza General Contracting   13.12        Middle Egypt Flour Mills   5.82        Extracted Oils   0.6        Assiut Islamic Trading   4.56        Engineering Industries (ICON)   3.95        North Cairo Mills   15.3        Arab Pharmaceuticals   11.88        Grand Capital   5.38        El Ahram Co. For Printing And    10.68        Minapharm Pharmaceuticals   25.49        El Arabia Engineering Industri   13.52        El Nasr For Manufacturing Agri   9.71        Naeem portfolio and fund Manag   1.7        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   6.76        Natural Gas & Mining Project (   68.26        Housing & Development Bank   13.95        East Delta Flour Mills   31.5        Orascom Development Holding (A   3.22        Memphis Pharmaceuticals   11.12        Abou Kir Fertilizers   134.23        Delta Insurance   5        Cairo Investment & Real Estate   12.18        Cairo Oils & Soap   12.98        Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securi   0.36        Egyptian Real Estate Group Bea   15.56        Alexandria Containers and good   85.51        Upper Egypt Flour Mills   45.78        Development & Engineering Cons   9.94        Sinai Cement   15.18        Medical Union Pharmaceuticals   28.01        Torah Cement   24.2        Alexandria New Medical Center   46.55        Export Development Bank of Egy   5.04        Egyptian Company for Mobile Se   92.02        Middle & West Delta Flour Mill   32.7        El Kahera El Watania Investmen   4.18        Mansourah Poultry   12.41        Delta Sugar   11.04        Misr Beni Suef Cement   41.21        Egyptian Satellites (NileSat)   6.14        Cairo Educational Services   17.75        Lecico Egypt   7.55        Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism I   5.3        General Silos & Storage   10.77        Al Moasher for Programming and   0.66        UTOPIA   5.28        Arab Ceramics (Aracemco)   25.4        Barbary Investment Group ( BIG   0.98        

Money Markets - Arab

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-29 08:06:33
Stock markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the most attractive for Egyptian investors and the potential listing of Emirati firms in the Egyptian bourse is expected to spur more interest, NAEEM Brokerage’s CEO said. Referring to the listing of Orascom Construction (OC) on the NASDAQ Dubai bourse earlier this month, Ayman Hamed said additionalsuch listings will be of “more benefit to investors and traders”. OC, the Sawiris-controlled engineering and construction business, is the only firm to be dually listed in Egypt and the UAE. “It’s strongly believed that Emaar Misr too is in its final stages of preparation for its listing in the Egyptian stock exchange – expected sometime in the 2Q of 2015. We’re not sure yet if it’s a dual listing,” Hamed told Daily News Egypt. “This, and other similar listings, will raise the inflow of capital across regional markets.” The Egyptian arm of Dubai’s largest listed real estate developer Emaar Properties, filed a formal request in February to list its shares in Egypt’s bourse. The company gave no value of how much it plans to float in the IPO, but reports said it would issue more than EGP 2bn worth of shares. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-26 16:38:23
Most of the Middle East stock markets fell on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region launched air strikes against Yemen's Houthi militia, but they came well off their lows late in the day as the initial panic subsided. Saudi Arabia's bourse, which is by far the region's biggest market and closes later than others in the Gulf, finished higher. Warplanes attacked the Yemeni capital Sanaa's airport and its al Dulaimi military airbase on Thursday after the Houthi militia and its army allies advanced towards the city of Aden a day earlier. Yemen's slide toward civil war has made the country a front in Saudi Arabia's rivalry with Shi'ite Iran, which Riyadh accuses of stirring up sectarian strife throughout the region and in Yemen with its support for the Houthis. The crisis now risks spiraling into a proxy war, and the prospect triggered a wave of selling by volatile retail investors on Thursday. But analysts say even a protracted conflict will have little fundamental impact on Gulf economies, if it remains confined to Yemen's territory. "Obviously it creates uncertainty and markets don't like uncertainty," said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co in Bahrain. But he added: "If the situation remains contained and does not spread out, the markets will stabilise or even rebound" within a few days. The main Saudi index closed 0.4 percent higher after falling as much as 4.2 percent earlier in the day and tumbling 5.0 percent in the previous session as preparations for military operations began. Blue chips such as Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) , which jumped 3.9 percent, and dairy firm Almarai , up 2.9 percent, were the main supports. Almarai said on Thursday it had received 250 million riyals ($66.7 million) from an insurer in compensation for a fire at one of its bakeries. Property developer Dar Al Arkan climbed 1.1 percent, after plunging 15.5 percent in the two previous sessions in response to the government's plan to tax undeveloped urban land. The company's chairman told Reuters on Wednesday that the new tax was unlikely to be applied to its huge land bank or push land prices down sharply. He also said Dar Al Arkan, which focuses on development of basic infrastructure on undeveloped land and the sale of such land, planned to diversify its business. UAE, EGYPT Dubai's index closed 0.8 percent lower at after tumbling as much as 5.9 percent during the day. It ended at 3,407 points, above technical support at the January low of 3,358 points. Abu Dhabi's bourse was nearly flat, while Qatar edged down 0.8 percent. However, Industries Qatar , the second-biggest petrochemicals producer in the Gulf, rose 1.6 percent as oil prices surged because of the conflict in Yemen. Markets in Kuwait and Oman were the weakest, dropping 2.4 and 2.6 percent respectively. Both bourses close earlier in the day than other Gulf markets, and investors there had less time to calm down and reassess valuations. Kuwait underperformed after Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdulmohsen al-Madaj resigned on Wednesday, becoming the second cabinet minister to quit this month after facing public criticism. His departure underlined political tensions that have slowed economic development of the country. Egypt's market fell 1.6 percent to a fresh two-month low of 9,053 points after the Cairo government said it was providing political and military support to the Saudi-led operation in Yemen. Beltone Financial Holding was the biggest loser and tumbled 6.1 percent after reporting that its net profit shrank to 15.2 million Egyptian pounds ($2.0 million) in 2014 from 74.2 million pounds a year earlier. THURSDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS SAUDI ARABIA * The index edged up 0.4 percent to 8,903 points. DUBAI * The index fell 0.8 percent to 3,407 points. ABU DHABI * The index inched up 0.03 percent to 4,373 points. QATAR * The index fell 0.8 percent to 11,411 points. EGYPT * The index lost 1.6 percent to 9,053 points. KUWAIT * The index dropped 2.4 percent to 6,222 points. OMAN * The index fell 2.6 percent to 6,113 points. BAHRAIN * The index lost 0.7 percent to 1,445 points. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-18 10:12:27
Gulf stock markets may keep tracking volatile oil prices on Wednesday in the absence of other strong catalysts. Also, investors may be cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement and U.S. oil inventories data due later in the day. Brent oil edged down towards $53 per barrel in Asian trade on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories were forecast to have surged for the tenth straight week to a new record high. Oil's fresh weakness has weighed on all Gulf markets this week, with benchmarks in Dubai and Saudi Arabia showing most volatility. On Wednesday, Dubai may come under pressure from stocks no longer carrying the 2014 dividend, such as bourse operator Dubai Financial Market and low-cost carrier Air Arabia . In Saudi Arabia, among ex-dividend stocks are Saudi Hollandi Bank, Advanced Petrochemicals Co, Saudi Cement and National Agricultural Development Co . However, Savola Group may gain after announcing it has obtained all necessary approvals for the sale of its packaging unit and its subsidiaries to Takween Advanced Industries. Savola said it would book a capital gain of 265 million riyals ($70.7 million) from the sale in the first quarter. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-12 13:38:28
Dubai-based financial services firm Arqaam Capital has chosen Rothschild to advise it on its planned stock market flotation in the emirate later this year, sources aware of the matter told Reuters on Thursday. The appointment comes after Reuters reported last month that the company had invited banks to pitch for roles in arranging the listing. Arqaam has offices in five countries in the Middle East and Africa and offers services including brokerage, asset management and corporate finance advisory. It declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-10 09:13:51
Shares in Orascom Construction rose around three percent on their NASDAQ Dubai market debut on Monday and the company said it was in talks to finance the first phase of a $5 billion coal-fired power plant in Egypt. Orascom shares climbed 2.9 percent to close at $14.69. The company, majority owned by Egypt's billionaire Sawiris family, will join Cairo's bourse on Tuesday or Wednesday, having de-merged from Amsterdam-listed parent firm OCI. Last November, Orascom Construction had announced a joint venture with Abu Dhabi's state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) to build the power plant with a total capacity of 3,000-4,000 megawatts on Egypt's Red Sea coast. Egypt is facing major energy shortages and has been in talks with several big investors about building coal burning plants to bolster its generation capacity. The project is split into two phases. The first phase will provide 1,800-2,000 megawatts and will cost about $3 billion, while the total budget is $5 billion, Orascom Construction chief executive Osama Bishai told reporters in Dubai. The firm is negotiating with banks to arrange the debt part of the first phase. "We are targeting to achieve financial close if not the end of this year, the first quarter of next year," Bishai said. "These transactions take at least 12-15 months. With this type of transaction you're looking at somewhere like 80 (percent) debt and 20 (percent) equity." The project is provisionally a 50-50 partnership with IPIC. "We're talking to other strategic and technical investors that may come or may not," Bishai said. "Once we conclude that, the final structure will be announced." He said the first phase would likely take 30-38 months to build, although construction could start prior to financing being finalised, while the second phase could start before the first was completed if the government approved it. As part of its market debut, Orascom has issued 12.98 million new shares in Egypt, representing 11 percent of its share capital, in an offer that was 5.1 times subscribed. "Dubai provides our institutional and UK and U.S. shareholders a base that is dollar denominated," Bishai said. Orascom's customer order backlog was $5.6 billion as of Sept. 30, of which about 43 percent was from the United States, with the reminder mostly split between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The company has since accumulated nearly $1 billion of additional orders, Bishai said. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-09 09:30:25
Shares in Egypt's Orascom Construction (OC) may rise as they start trading on NASDAQ Dubai on Monday after the company secured solid demand for its $185 million public offer. OC sold 11 percent of its shares in the offer at a price of 108.71 pounds ($14.25) per share, and secured a dual listing on the Egyptian stock market and NASDAQ Dubai. Trading in Dubai will start on Monday; the company has said trading in Cairo is expected to start between Monday and Wednesday this week, but it has not yet specified an exact date. Brokerage Mubasher has set its target price for the stock at 134.75 pounds or $17.70, a 24 percent upside to the IPO price, using a slightly different exchange rate for the conversion into dollars. "Securing vast contracts in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly in Egypt, which is currently adopting mega projects, could accelerate OC's recovery and improve its profitability margins," it said. "However, exposures to political instability in Egypt and low-margin contracts in the US are key risks," it added. Egypt's government plans to present projects worth tens of billions of dollars at an investment summit this week. Among those, according to Egyptian media, is a plan to build a new $80 billion capital city from scratch. OC, an engineering and building business controlled by Egypt's prominent Sawiris family, was once the biggest blue-chip stock on the Egyptian exchange. However, it effectively pulled out of the bourse in 2013 when another Sawiris company, Amsterdam-listed OCI NV, bought out the vast majority of its shares, leaving only a tiny free float in Cairo. NASDAQ Dubai is the smaller of the emirate's two stock exchanges. Its latest listing was that of real estate investment trust Emirates REIT last year; the stock rose shortly after listing but has since suffered in the region-wide sell-off driven by oil's plunge. Trading in Gulf bourses generally looks likely to be subdued on Monday, with oil prices soft and foreign equity markets under pressure because of expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike this summer. However, Saudi Arabia may keep a relatively firm tone after Sunday's positive technical signal. The index rose 0.7 percent to 9,579 points in active trade, breaking resistance on the February peak of 9,544 points; it faces stronger resistance on its 200-day average, now at 9,664 points. Any break would suggest the market's longer-term uptrend might be resuming. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-03-02 16:58:22
Gulf stock markets diverged on Monday on mixed corporate news, while Egypt rebounded on bullish comments by government officials and executives and signs that the planned parliamentary election will go ahead soon despite legal issues. Saudi Arabia's main index climbed 0.4 percent as property stocks dominated trading and Makkah Construction and Development was the main support, jumping 4.8 percent. The company, which which uses a different fiscal calendar from most listed firms, is expected to post quarterly earnings this month. Retailer United Electronics surged 7.6 percent. The company has proposed no cash dividend for the fourth quarter but plans to issue bonus shares. Market players expect its sales to jump in the first quarter after King Salman ordered all government bodies to pay their staff two months' salary as a bonus at the end of January, boosting consumer spending power. Many state-linked companies paid similar bonuses. Al Rajhi Bank fell 0.4 percent as its shares no longer carried a dividend. Overall, trading activity remained low compared with the last few weeks as the kingdom's market regulator said it was investigating possible insider trading in shares of telecommunications operator Mobily relating to its shock 2014 earnings restatement. Until the scope of any legal action by the regulator becomes clear, many investors may stay cautious. UAE, EGYPT Dubai's index fell 1.0 percent to 3,789 points. But the benchmark found support after moving below 3,800 points, the lower bound of the narrow range in which it had traded for the last two weeks. Builder Arabtec dropped 2.9 percent after Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported there were still disagreements between the company and the Cairo authorities about Arabtec's giant $40 billion residential construction project in Egypt. Arabtec has repeatedly said in recent months that it will soon conclude a final agreement on the project, but one has not been announced. Emaar Properties, which said on Sunday that its board would discuss the dividend for 2014 this week, edged up 0.3 percent. Abu Dhabi's bourse edged down 0.4 percent as heavyweight telecommunications firm Etisalat lost just as much, having jumped 5.2 percent in the previous two sessions on fourth-quarter results and dividends. Qatar's index inched up 0.04 percent and Barwa Real Estate was the main support, jumping 2.0 percent after it appointed Salman Mohamad al-Muhannad, previously CEO of QNB Capital, its group chief executive. The company had only had an acting group CEO since May 2014. Meanwhile, heavyweight Industries Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals firm in the Gulf, dropped 2.9 percent. The company's shares no longer carry the 7.00 riyals per share dividend, which equalled 4.5 percent of Sunday's closing share price.
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-02-26 17:22:25
Most major Gulf stock markets slipped on Thursday despite stronger oil prices, as low trading volumes indicated retail investors remained cautious. Brent crude surged 5 percent on Wednesday, after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said oil demand was growing and data showed Chinese factories were producing more than expected. That was positive news for the Saudi stock market, but its main index inched down 0.1 percent as trading volume remained modest and shares of telecommunications operator Mobily remained suspended following another shock revision of its 2014 earnings on Wednesday. The key petrochemical and banking sectors barely moved, while telecommunications were mixed after suffering a sell-off due to Mobily in the previous session. Saudi Telecom, which as the largest player in the sector could benefit from Mobily's slump, gained 1.5 percent. Zain Saudi, the smallest mobile operator, fell 3.1 percent. Al Rajhi Bank, which will pay a 0.75 riyal per share cash dividend next week, edged up 0.4 percent. The latest Reuters survey of regional asset managers showed on Thursday that Middle East funds are increasingly positive towards Saudi Arabia as the kingdom prepares to open its bourse to direct foreign investment in coming months. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they expected to increase their Saudi equity allocations in the next three months, while none intended to cut them. UAE Abu Dhabi's index added 1.2 percent largely because of Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates' largest telecommunications firm, which jumped 3.9 percent after posting net profit of 2.1 billion dirhams ($572 million) for the fourth quarter, a 45 percent increase year-on-year. Three analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Etisalat, the Gulf's second biggest telecommunications operator by market value, would make a quarterly profit of 2.43 billion dirhams. But investors may be relieved about the limited impact so far from the troubles of Mobily, whhich is Etisalat's Saudi Arabian affiliate. Etisalat proposed a 0.35 dirham per share cash dividend for the second half of 2014, flat year-on-year, and a 10 percent bonus share issue. At 12.05 dirhams, the stock closed just above a major chart barrier at 11.95-12.00 dirhams, its peaks in May and July 2014. A clean break - two straight daily closes - would point up to the March peak of 12.60 dirhams. First Gulf Bank rose 1.1 percent after its executives said on Wednesday that they expected the bank to achieve loan growth of 9-11 percent in 2015. Dana Gas jumped 2.2 percent after index compiler FTSE said it planned to increase the stock's weighting in its global index by 3 percent. The weighting of Dubai's Arabtec will increase 11 percent and the stock gained 1.9 percent, outperforming the Dubai index, which slipped 0.1 percent. Another index compiler, MSCI, is set to effectively double Arabtec's weighting in its emerging market index from March. VTB Capital has estimated the change could drive up to $12 million in passive fund inflows and up to $101 million of inflows by actively managed funds. Qatar's market edged down 0.2 percent as lenders Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank fell 1.3 and 1.6 percent respectively. Both banks have paid 2014 dividends this month, and some investors may be switching to other stocks - or other Gulf markets - until the next payout season. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-02-22 16:40:14
Gulf equity markets were narrowly mixed on Sunday after oil prices stabilised, with low trading volumes indicating that investors remained cautious. Brent crude oil steadied just above $60 a barrel on Friday as expectations for falling U.S. rig count numbers outweighed concerns about oversupply. Oil's weakness earlier last week ended a rally across Gulf stock markets, prompting investors to book profits and stay on the sidelines. On Sunday, the main Saudi stock index was flat with a roughly equal split between gainers and losers. Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries edged up 0.4 percent. Mecca real estate developer Jabal Omar was the main support, jumping 4.5 percent. The company, which uses the Islamic calendar, reported a second consecutive profitable quarter this month after at least five years of losses. Makkah Construction and Development, which has a 10.1 percent stake in Jabal Omar, jumped 3.2 percent. Insurance companies also outperformed. The sector's index rose 0.5 percent and AXA Cooperative Insurance Co , which at the end of last week reported a 22.4 percent increase in 2014 net profit, surged its daily 10 percent limit. Retailer United Electronics added 0.8 percent after the firm said it had launched a new store which would boost first-quarter sales. QATAR, EGYPT Markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi edged down 0.5 percent each as most stocks declined in low-volume trade. Qatar's index edged up 0.2 percent on the back of property firms Barwa Real Estate and Ezdan Holding , up 2.5 and 0.7 percent respectively. Qatari newspaper The Peninsula on Saturday quoted Economy and Trade Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani as saying Doha would spend $12.5 billion on housing and infrastructure in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Also, both companies have yet to announce 2014 dividends. Egypt's bourse edged up 0.1 percent. Investment bank EFG Hermes climbed 1.0 percent after Qalaa Holdings hired it to advise on the possible sale of Qalaa's food businesses. Meanwhile, investment firm Pioneers Holding fell 0.9 percent; last week, a subsidiary of Europe's biggest dairy group Lactalis raised its offer for Egypt's Arab Dairy to 65.75 Egyptian pounds per share, topping the latest bid from Pioneers. SUNDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS SAUDI ARABIA * The index inched up 0.01 percent to 9,301 points. DUBAI * The index edged down 0.5 percent to 3,840 points. ABU DHABI * The index fell 0.5 percent to 4,647 points. QATAR * The index edged up 0.2 percent to 12,525 points. EGYPT * The index added 0.1 percent to 9,495 points. KUWAIT * The index edged down 0.6 percent to 6,602 points. OMAN * The index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,634 points. BAHRAIN * The index climbed 0.1 percent to 1,461 points. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-02-19 09:15:09
Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed on Wednesday, guided largely by announced and expected dividends, as weaker oil prices made investors cautious about opening new positions. Brent crude fell more than 2 percent and traded near $61 per barrel by 1230 GMT, after surging over the past two weeks and prompting equity rallies across the Gulf. Saudi Arabia's bourse, where petrochemicals are heavily weighted, had benefited the most from firmer oil. With year-to-date gains of 12.9 percent, the market has outperformed all other major bourses in the Middle East. On Wednesday, the main Saudi stock index edged down 0.4 percent and Saudi Basic Industries, the Gulf's biggest petrochemicals firm, fell 1.3 percent. National Industrialization Co (Tasnee), which also has interests in petrochemicals, lost 1.3 percent after it proposed a 2014 dividend of 1.00 riyal per share, down from 1.50 riyals a year earlier. Alkhaleej Training and Education Co dropped 3.8 percent, having cut its 2014 cash dividend to 0.80 riyal from 0.86 riyal in 2013. Mecca Property firm Jabal Omar pulled back 0.9 percent after surging 24 percent in the previous four sessions on strong financial results and news that the government was seeking to speed up the development of the Muslim holy city. UAE, Egypt Dubai's stock index slipped 0.3 percent as telecommunications operator du dropped 2.8 percent and was the main drag. The company plans to report its fourth-quarter results early on Thursday and the stock had surged 5.3 percent in the previous session. Property developer DAMAC added 1.0 percent and was the most traded stock by value. The firm plans to issue bonus shares instead of a cash dividend for 2014, but has not yet announced an exact date for that. Abu Dhabi edged up 0.3 percent. Aldar Properties , the most traded stock, climbed 1.5 percent to 2.68 dirhams after HSBC raised its rating of the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and increased the price target to 3.90 dirhams from 3.80 dirhams. Qatar's benchmark inched up 0.1 percent as Qatar National Qatar Bank rose 1.5 percent. But Qatar Electricity and Water Co, whose shares stopped carrying the 2014 dividend, tumbled 4.3 percent. Egypt's bourse rose 1.1 percent in a broad rally after undergoing a profit-taking bout this week. Ezz Steel jumped 3.3 percent, having tumbled 4.7 percent in the previous session after posting a wider third-quarter net loss. Analysts expect the company's performance to improve in the fourth quarter and this year; Egypt introduced anti-dumping fees on all steel imports last October for a period of 200 days. “The Chamber of Metallurgical Industries as well as the local producers are also bargaining to extend the protectionism policy beyond the designated timeframe,” Egypt's Prime brokerage said in a note. “This should support both selling prices and volumes.” More»