Gulf mixed early on, Emaar Properties pulls up Dubai

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Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Wednesday but a rebound by real estate blue chip Emaar Properties lifted Dubai.

The Dubai index gained 0.6 percent as Emaar, which had been trading near 14-month lows because of a slumping Dubai real estate market, surged 2.8 percent to 6.20 dirhams.

The stock had reached a trailing price-earnings ratio of about 7.6 times, according to Thomson Reuters data - cheap by emerging market standards. Of 12 analysts rating it, 10 have a “buy” or “strong buy” rating and none have a “sell”, according to a Reuters survey; their median target price is 9.45 dirhams.

Saudi Arabia’s index was up 0.1 percent after an hour as Saudi Investment Bank added 1.7 percent. It announced a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 352 million riyals ($93.9 million); NCB Capital had forecast 301 million riyals and EFG Hermes, 302 million riyals.

But Najran Cement fell 1.8 percent after it swung to an annual net loss of 21.9 million riyals from a profit of 125.7 million riyals in the previous year.

Qatar’s index slipped 0.6 percent largely because of a 1.5 percent drop by Qatar National Bank, the largest lender.

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