MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may fall as oil weakens, Qatar completes FTSE upgrade – Reuters

DUBAI, March 20 Falling crude oil prices and a
lack of movement in international stock markets may keep many
institutional investors away from Gulf bourses on Monday,
leaving those markets vulnerable to short-term day trading.

Brent oil has slipped 0.6 percent to $51.44 a barrel
in Asian trade and is now down about 12 percent from this year’s
high on Jan. 3. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan is almost flat.

In the Gulf on Sunday, most blue chips underperformed
smaller, speculative stocks as day traders generated most
turnover, and that pattern may continue on Monday.

In Qatar, the second phase of the market’s upgrade by FTSE
Russell to secondary emerging market status takes effect from
the opening on Monday, with 20 of the 22 companies selected in
September 2016 seeing their investibility weights doubled.

But passive fund inflows into those stocks are now believed
to have been completed and with many other investors having
tried to front-run the flows, some of the stocks may encounter
selling pressure on Monday.

The most liquid share on the NASDAQ Dubai exchange, port
operator DP World, may be bid up after the company made
a net profit attributable to owners of $1.13 billion in 2016, up
27.6 percent from the prior year. The cash dividend is also
higher in 2016, up 26.7 percent to $0.38 a share.

Saudi Arabia’s largest Islamic bank, Al Rajhi,
goes ex-dividend on Monday which could pressure the stock.

(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may fall as oil weakens, Qatar completes FTSE upgrade – Reuters}

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