Qatar Stocks Gain First Time in Four Days; Oman’s Index Drops

Qatar shares rose for the first time in four days after Commercial Bank of Qatar raised its full-year dividend payment. Oman’s gauge dropped the most in more than a month.

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the country’s second-biggest bank by assets, climbed 1.7 percent after it proposed a dividend of 7 riyals for 2010, compared with 6 riyals the previous year. Salam International Investment, the Doha-based company with assets in construction, is headed for the biggest gain in more than five years as it posted an 8 percent increase in full-year profit. The QE Index rose 0.6 percent to 8,981.61 at 12:01 p.m. in Doha.

Commercial Bank’s "proposed dividend came as a surprise," said Hassan El Salah, deputy head of institutional equities at Al Ramz Securities LLC, an Abu Dhabi-based brokerage. The bank’s "valuation still remains attractive compared to its peers in Qatar," he said.

Commercial Bank trades at 12.3 times reported earnings, compared with a valuation of 13.7 times for larger competitor Qatar National Bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Commercial Bank reported net income for the three months ended Dec. 31 of 309 million riyals ($85 million). The mean estimate of five analysts was for a profit of 443 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Commercial Bank shares advanced to 88.1 riyals. They have dropped 5.1 percent in 2011.

Salam International soared 9.9 percent to 11.1 riyals. Profit rose to 141.2 million riyals.

Oman’s Retreat

National Bank of Oman was the biggest decliner in the sultanate’s benchmark gauge after the bank posted lower-than- expected full-year profit.

The MSM30 Index lost 0.6 percent, the most since Dec. 13, to 6,965.14 at the 1 p.m. close in Muscat.

National Bank, the country’s second-largest bank by assets, slipped 2.1 percent to 0.331 rial, the lowest close since Sept. 2. Net income was at 27.2 million rials ($71 million), less than the 29.45 million-rial mean estimate of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.5 percent, Dubai’s DFM General Index advanced 1.2 percent and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of 200 companies in the Persian Gulf gained 0.4 percent. Bahrain’s measure and Kuwait’s gauge were little changed. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index declined 0.3 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zahraa Alkhalisi in Abu Dhabi at zalkhalisi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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