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Qatar Shares Rise on Bets of Diplomatic Solution; Dubai Drops

Skyscrapers in Doha, Qatar
Qatar stocks advanced for a second day as investors bet the gas-rich nation will resolve a row with Gulf neighbors through diplomacy. Photographer: Gabriela Maj/Bloomberg

March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar stocks advanced for a second day as investors bet the gas-rich nation will resolve a row with Gulf neighbors through diplomacy. Dubai’s gauge declined.

The benchmark QE Index gained 0.3 percent to 11,642.04 at the close as telecommunications provider Ooredoo QSC increased for a second day and Barwa Real Estate Co. climbed to the highest level in two weeks. Dubai’s DFM General Index lost 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi’s gauge retreated 0.4 percent.

Qatar will probably soften its support for the Muslim Brotherhood to ease tension with Gulf allies, according to analysts such as Anthony Harris, head of Robert Fleming Insurance Brokers Middle East and former British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Gulf countries have been critical of Qatar’s support of the Islamist organization, with the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and Bahrain last week withdrawing ambassadors from the country in protest.

“Investors expect a diplomatic solution of the issue,” said Tariq Qaqish, a director at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC. A quick solution is important, he said.

Ooredoo advanced 0.7 percent to 140 riyals and Barwa climbed 1.9 percent to 32.65 riyals, the highest since Feb. 24. Al Meera Consumer Goods Co., which operates a chain of cooperative stores in the country, jumped 5.1 percent to 162 riyals, its highest close on record.

Saudi Gains

U.S. stocks rose last week, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a record, after better-than-forecast data on hiring and manufacturing overshadowed concern about the standoff in Ukraine. The S&P 500 advanced 1 percent to 1,878.04 during the five days.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index gained 1.1 percent. Mobile Telecommunications Co., known as Zain KSA, surged 8.4 percent on more than 10 times the three-month average daily trading volume.

Egypt’s EGX 30 slipped 0.1 percent after Ashraf El-Arabi, planning and international cooperation minister, said he “hopes” growth for the fiscal year that ends in June will exceed 2 percent. That’s down from an earlier forecast of 3 percent.

Telecom Egypt, the monopoly fixed-line phone company, jumped 2.4 percent after the Minister of Communications Atef Helmy said the country will issue a so-called unified telecom license in a “few” weeks. That would allow Telecom Egypt to offer mobile services.

In Dubai, Arabtec Holding Co. advanced 1.7 percent as Arabiya television reported the U.A.E.’s largest listed contractor will sign an accord to build affordable housing in Egypt.

Kuwait’s gauge rose 0.1 percent, while benchmarks in Bahrain and Oman retreated 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Israel’s TA-25 Index declined 0.4 percent, at the close in Tel Aviv, snapping a three-day winning streak. The yield on the government’s benchmark bond due in March 2023 increased one basis-point, or 0.01 of a percentage point, to 3.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarmad Khan in Dubai at skhan170@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net James Doran, Claudia Maedler

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