Mideast Stocks: Gulf flat to lower although Nama Chemicals surges in Saudi

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(Reuters) – Gulf stock markets were flat to lower in early trade on Tuesday although Saudi Arabia’s Nama Chemicals surged because of an effort to appoint a new board.

The Saudi index <.TASI> was flat after an hour with Saudi Arabian Mining <1211.SE> (Ma’aden) gaining 2.2 percent. Nama <2210.SE> added 3.4 percent after shareholders owning more than 5 percent of the firm requested a meeting to consider the dissolution of the current board and the election of a new one.

Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance <8180.SE> added 3.2 percent after announcing a 19.9 million riyal ($5.3 million) contract with Mahara Human Resources to provide insurance services.

Qatar’s index <.QSI> was down 0.2 percent after three straight sessions of gains. Commercial Bank <COMB.QA> and Barwa Real Estate <BRES.QA> both lost 1.0 percent.

In Dubai, the index <.DFMGI> fell 0.9 percent, hurt by banks and property firms. Union Properties <UPRO.DU> lost 1.7 percent and the region’s largest lender, Emirates NBD <ENBD.DU>, fell 1.8 percent.

But Arabtec <ARTC.DU> rose 0.5 percent after its unit Target Engineering secured a 521 million dirham ($142 million) contract for construction work on a project for Abu Dhabi’s state oil firm.

Abu Dhabi’s index <.ADI> dropped 0.8 percent as Commercial Bank International <CBI.AD> tumbled 9.9 percent after surging 14.1 percent in the last trading session. Volume in the stock is very thin, making it volatile.

Markets in Egypt, Oman and Bahrain were closed for religious holidays.

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