MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar edge up; UAE markets slip

September 14, 2014
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(Updates with markets open)

DUBAI, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Egypt’s stock market edged up in early trade on Sunday after the Cairo government said it would invite an International Monetary Fund mission to visit, while Qatar’s bourse rose after the country took a step to reconcile with its Gulf neighbours.

The Cairo benchmark rose 0.6 percent shortly after opening as most stocks were up. Developers Medinet Nasr and Talaat Moustafa Group were the main supports, gaining 3.8 and 1.1 percent respectively.

Egypt will ask the IMF for a long-delayed economic assessment in the hope of improving the country’s image before a February investment conference, the country’s finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The assessment will not necessarily lead to an IMF loan deal, but it is key to maintaining working relations with the global lender and could provide the government with valuable feedback and recommendations.

It is also another step towards rehabilitating Egypt in the eyes of many Western investors. Egypt has not held Article IV consultations, in which IMF experts assess a country’s financial and economic state of affairs, since March 2010.

Qatar’s main index rose 0.2 percent on the back of Qatari Investors Group, which jumped 4.2 percent and Industries Qatar, up 0.5 percent.

The Doha government has asked seven senior figures from Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to leave the country, a step that could help Qatar reconcile with its Gulf neighbours.

Tensions over Qatar’s support for the Brotherhood led Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha in March.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s bourse was nearly flat. The emirate’s largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, was also unchanged after announcing a price range for the initial public offer of its malls unit.

Emaar said it sought 2.50-2.90 dirhams per share and expected to offer 2 billion shares, meaning it would raise up to $1.58 billion. The range was in line with analysts’ expectations.

Abu Dhabi’s index slipped 0.2 percent as large lender Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 1.1 percent. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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