STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Saudi, Qatar in spotlight with UAE mkts closed

0550 GMT - Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Qatar , which continue to be favoured by fund managers, could see further gains on Sunday while the UAE bourses are closed for a national holiday and investor sentiment on Egypt is mixed.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 3.3 percent in November and Qatar gained 5.5 percent, although both markets were hit by some profit-taking in late November, in the aftermath of the world powers' nuclear deal with Iran.

However, oil prices have mostly recovered since, as it became apparent that there would be no immediate increase in Iranian exports while supply disruptions in Libya continued.

Regional investors also see Saudi Arabia and Qatar as safe havens as their growth so far this year has lagged that of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Companies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also expected to pay higher year-end dividends.

A survey of fund managers conducted by Reuters last week showed that funds remained bullish on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.

Egypt's bourse, though, remained under pressure throughout last week amid reports of violent clashes between security forces and the opponents of its army-backed government.

The global market backdrop is neutral as world equities were little changed on a light day of trading on Friday. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Dinesh Nair)


Friend's Activity