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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift Saudi index; major Gulf markets mixed

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian stocks rose in early trading on Monday, bolstered by bank shares, while major Gulf markets moved sideways.

Saudi Arabia's main index was up 0.4 percent. Major bank Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.6 percent after posting a full-year net profit 10.30 billion riyals ($2.75 billion), up from 9.12 billion riyals a year earlier.

The index has benefited from foreign fund inflows since the start of the year as funds build positions before Saudi Arabia's entry into the MSCI emerging-market benchmark in the middle of this year.

Foreigners bought a net 4.36 billion riyals (1.2 billion) of Saudi stocks in January, according to stock exchange data. The Saudi index is up nearly 9 percent so far this year.

Saudi Investment Bank added 1.9 percent after it reported a gain of more than 3 percent in annual profit.

Dallah Healthcare rose 3.9 percent after its board approved a buyback of 5 percent of ordinary shares.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.5 percent with Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) adding 0.7 percent.

First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 0.7 percent after rising 1.8 percent in the last session. The bank proposed an increase in its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent and posted a 4 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, beating analysts' forecasts.

In Dubai, the index traded flat with the emirate's largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, losing 0.2 percent.

But Nasdaq-Dubai listed port operator DP World climbed 1.1 percent after Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said it had committed 500 million dirhams ($136.13 million) for investments in Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone this year.

Qatar's index shed 0.3 percent, partly weighed down by blue-chip Industries Qatar, which slipped 0.8 percent. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)