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DUBAI: Middle East stock markets ended in red on Monday trade with Dubai leading the losses, dragged down by Emaar properties, while Egyptian market extended the gains led by telecoms stocks.

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector expanded in August at its fastest rate since October, as business activity was boosted by improving demand conditions, a survey showed.

A similar survey in UAE showed non-oil private sector grew in August at its fastest pace since June, 2019, boosted by better demand and lower selling prices, though sentiment about the future slipped to a 17-month low.

In Dubai, the main share index dropped 1.3%, extending losses for a fourth straight session. Developer Emaar Properties dived 2%, following a weak outlook on Dubai housing market on the back of an increase in borrowing costs.

Analysts suggested that property prices in Dubai will rise this year and next at a slower pace than previously thought as higher mortgage rates and the cost of living crisis will reduce foreign demand.

Most analysts said the recovery was fragile and uneven, and an oversupply of residential properties along with rising interest rates would pressure prices over the coming months.

Meanwhile, Dubai road-toll operator Salik said on Monday it is selling 20% of the company via an initial public offering, the third state-linked entity to seek a listing this year.

The market could see a reversal in sentiment with the announcement of Salik’s IPO as it could attract investors looking for new opportunities said Wael Makarem, Senior Market Strategist – MENA at Exness.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.7%, with Saudi National Bank decreasing 1.9% and Al Rajhi Bank easing 0.8%.

Abu Dhabi’s index lost 0.7%, pressured by a 1.2% decrease in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank .

However, Alpha Dhabi Holding was slightly up after its unit Pure Health signed an agreement to acquire a minority equity investment in Ardent Health Services, a leading US healthcare provider, for a total investment of AED 1.8 billion.

In Qatar, the benchmark also declined 0.8%, extending losses to a sixth consecutive session, as financial stocks were falling most in the index, with the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank shedding 2% while Qatar Islamic Bank was up 1.5%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index was up 1.7%, as Telecom Egypt soared 15.8%.

Telecom Egypt clarified media reports on Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund’s intention to buy the company’s stake in Vodafone Egypt. The telco said it has not received an official offer from any organisation.

The Egyptian stock market could record additional increases thanks to improving conditions in non-energy sectors, Makarem said.

SAUDI ARABIA lost 0.8% to 12,100 points

ABU DHABI fell 0.7% to 9,687 points

DUBAI slid 1.2% to 3,354 points

QATAR dropped 0.8% to 13,038 points

EGYPT rose 1.8 % to 10,178 points

BAHRAIN traded flat to 1,920 points

OMAN edged up 0.4% 4,620 points

KUWAIT declined 0.6% to 8,427 points.

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