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MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate earnings boost most Gulf markets; Egypt edges lower

* Emirates NBD continues to gain on Q4 results * Air Arabia rises after lawsuit against Abraaj founder * Saudi's Samba Financial gains on FY results * National Commercial Bank rises on merger talk By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 17 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market rose on Thursday, buoyed by heavyweight constituents, with most Gulf markets lifted by corporate earnings announcements.

The Dubai index added 0.6 percent as lender Emirates NBD rose by 1.1 percent and developer Emaar Properties advanced by 1.3 percent.

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, reported a 10 percent gain in fourth-quarter net profit after loan growth and improved margins offset higher expenses and a drop to investment securities income.

Ajman Bank was up 3.5 percent after full-year profit jumped by 28 percent to 170 million dirhams ($46.3 million).

Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 percent, helped by petrochemical and bank shares. Its biggest lender, National Commercial Bank (NCB), rose 0.8 percent in heavy trade.

NCB is expected to pick JPMorgan to advise on merger talks with smaller rival Riyad Bank, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Riyad Bank added 0.1 percent.

Samba Financial Group, Saudi's third-largest bank by assets, rose 2.2 percent after a 10 percent jump in 2018 net profit.

Egypt's blue-chip index eased by 0.2 percent, with declines for 23 of its 30 stocks, mirroring a dip in emerging markets.

EFG Hermes was down 2.3 percent and Eastern Co fell by 2.1 percent.

In Qatar, blue-chips Qatar Gas Transport and Qatar Insurance rose 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, pushing the index up by 0.2 percent.

Qatar National Bank lost 0.5 percent as investors booked profits after it announced a 5 percent jump in full-year net profirt on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up by 0.1 percent as telecoms company Emirates Telecommunications Group added 0.4 percent and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah gained 2.2 percent.

SAUDI The index rose 0.5 pct to ARABIA 8,448 points DUBAI The index gained 0.6 pct to 2,517 points QATAR The index inched up 0.2 pct to 10,788 points ABU DHABI The index was up 0.1 pct at 4,985 points EGYPT The index lost 0.2 percent to 13,483 points KUWAIT The index added 0.2 pct to 5,480 points OMAN The index fell 0.5 pct to 4,237 points BAHRAIN The index inched up 0.1 pct to 1,341 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)