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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks, earnings drive Saudi up; other Gulf markets mixed

By Ateeq Shariff

* Middle East Health care jumps on strong Q3 earnings * All but one Saudi Arabian banks gain * Credit Agricole Egypt rises on 9-month financials * Masraf Al Rayan gains on sukuk issuance By Ateeq Shariff Nov 7 (Reuters) - Major Gulf markets were mixed on Thursday in lacklustre trading, with banking shares and corporate earnings making the Saudi index the biggest gainer, while Egypt's bourse rebounded on gains in financial stocks. Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was up 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 1.2% and Samba Financial Group advancing 3.1%. Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.1% despite HSBC slashing its target price to 78 riyals ($20.80) from 80 riyals. Middle East Healthcare surged 6.1% after posting a sharp rise in third-quarter net profit. The hospitals operator attributed the surge to a decrease in general and administrative expenses. National Medical Care added 2.2% as the firm posted a surge of more than 45% in third-quarter net profit. The Egyptian blue-chip index rebounded 0.6%, a day after it took a breather to snap a nine-day winning streak. Commercial International Bank increased 0.6%. The country's largest lender on Tuesday reported a 23% increase in third-quarter profit. Non-Arab foreigners were net buyers of the stocks during the session, while Egyptians were net sellers, according to data on the exchange website. Among other stocks, Credit Agricole Egypt closed 1.3% higher after posting a nine-month net income of 1.87 billion Egyptian pounds ($116.22 million), compared to 1.68 billion year ago. In Dubai the index reversed course to close up 0.4% with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD rising 1% and 0.4% respectively. On Wednesday, Moody's said that the United Arab Emirates' banking outlook is stable on resilient credit profiles in subdued economy. The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.3% with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank losing 0.4% and Emirates Telecommunications down 0.5%. Industries Qatar was the main drag on the Qatari index, which edged down 0.1%, but gains in other blue-chips capped losses. Masraf Al Rayan rose 1% the day after it issued $500 million sukuk, or Islamic bonds, with five-year term, part of a $2 billion sukuk programme. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.6% to 7,798 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.3% to 5,131 points DUBAI The index added 0.4% to 2,699 points QATAR The index slipped 0.1% to 10,275 points EGYPT The index fell 0.6% to 14,796 points BAHRAIN The index edged up 0.1% to 1,518 points OMAN The index gained 0.3% to 4,041 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.3% at 6,179 points ($1 = 3.7501 riyals) ($1 = 16.0900 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)