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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt hit by sell-off of blue chips, financials lift Qatar

* 26 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall * QIIB rises after increase in foreign ownership limit * Union Properties jumps after direct deal * Shuaa Capitals sees biggest intra-day gain since Dec 2014 By Ateeq Shariff March 25 (Reuters) - Egypt's index fell sharply on Monday, pulled down by its blue-chip shares, while Qatar's index was lifted by its financial stocks.

The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 1.2 percent, with 26 of its 30 stocks declining. Egyptians were the net sellers of stocks during the session and non-Arab foreigners were the net buyers, according to data on the exchange website.

Egyptian Chemical Industries lost 5 percent and Palm Hills Development declined 4.6 percent. The former said it expects to post profit of 296.8 million Egyptian pounds ($17.21 million)on sales of 3.63 billion Egyptian pounds for the full-year 2019-2020.

Qatar's index added 0.6 percent with most of its financial stocks gaining.

Qatar International Islamic Bank added 3.5 percent, its biggest intraday gain in over a year, after its shareholders approved an increase in its foreign ownership limit to 49 percent from 25 percent.

Sharia-compliant lender Qatar Islamic Bank increased 1.5 percent. Last week, the company completed an international bond issuance of $750 million sukuk.

The Dubai index also rose 0.6 percent, with its largest lender listed-developer Emaar Properties rising 2.1 percent and its unit Emaar Malls adding 1.1 percent.

Union Properties climbed 9.4 percent after Dubai Financial Market (DFM) said that a direct deal worth 60 million dirhams ($16.34 million) was implemented on 155.5 million shares of Union Properties. DFM slid 1.7 percent in active trade.

Shuaa Capital jumped 13.4 percent - its biggest one gain since December 2014, after it said it was in talks with Abu Dhabi Financial Group on a potential merger.

The Saudi index gained 0.2 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.8 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi increasing 1.1 percent.

The Saudi market ended the previous week at its highest in almost four years after its inclusion in the FTSE Russell's emerging-market index.

Makkah Construction and Development Co rose 1.9 percent after the developer reported a hike in its full-year net profit.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.5 percent with its largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.1 percent.

Eshraq Properties rose 5 percent after its board approved the cross listing of its shares on the Saudi's main Tadawul index.

But Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank slid 0.4 percent. Al Hilal Bank has made about 160 people redundant ahead of a three-way merger with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Union National Bank, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Union National inched up 0.4 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA The index edged up 0.2 pct to 8,667 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.5 pct to 5,118 points DUBAI The index added 0.6 pct to 2,634 points QATAR The index gained 0.6 pct to 9,949 points EGYPT The index fell 1.2 pct to 14,671 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.4 pct at 5,943 points OMAN The index was flat at 4,128 points BAHRAIN The index fell 0.5 pct to 1,416 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 17.2500 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)