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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar hits 3 month high, financials weigh on Abu Dhabi

* Gulf International at 3-month high on drilling contract * United Arab Bank slides after Q1 results * Emaar Properties gains on unit's project * Saudi Basic Industries falls on brokerage action By Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan May 2 (Reuters) - Qatar's stock market closed at a three-month high on Thursday, buoyed by drilling rig provider Gulf International Services, while the Abu Dhabi index was pressured by financial shares.

The Qatar index rose 0.8 percent, with Gulf International Services jumping 10 percent after its unit was awarded contracts by Qatar Petroleum to provide six offshore drilling rigs.

Brokerage firm QNB Financial Services raised its rating on the stock to 'outperform' from 'accumulate', citing its ability to secure contracts for six rigs out of a total deal size of eight.

"Our preliminary sense is a material uplift in earnings from 2020 onward and we consequently raise our earnings estimated by an average of 28 percent over 2020-2023," QNB said in a note.

The Abu Dhabi index was down 0.3 percent, with United Arab Bank sliding 4.2 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) losing 0.5 percent.

United Arab Bank posted a nearly 40 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit, while ADCB began trading on Wednesday as a newly formed entity after completing a three-way merger with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank.

Dubai's index added 0.3 percent, helped by a 2.4 percent rise by Emaar Properties and a 2.9 percent gain in Dubai Investments.

Emaar's unit Emaar Development began a 25 billion dirham ($6.81 billion) coastal building project in Dubai. But the stock fell 4.9 percent as it traded ex-dividend.

"I think Emaar Developments will do better than most real estate developers in Dubai because it has de facto state backing, which makes it harder for the competition," said Khaled Abdel Majeed, Managing Partner at MENA Capital.

The company is facing headwinds from oversupply in its core Dubai market, Majeed said, adding that the valuation is reasonable but macro and political challenges are "significant".

The Saudi Arabian index fell 0.3 percent, with Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance declining 4.8 percent after actuaries recommended an increase in its technical reserves of 27.5 million riyals ($7.33 million).

Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.3 percent after HSBC cut its target price and rating on the stock.

Egypt's blue-chip index slid 0.3 percent, as its biggest stocks Eastern Co and Commercial International Bank lost 4.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

On Tuesday, Eastern Co posted a drop in its nine-month net profit.

Kuwait's blue chip index added 1.4 percent, with Mabanee Company and Burgan Bank gaining 3.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Mabanee posted a 13 percent rise in its first-quarter profit.

SAUDI The index fell 0.3 pct to 9,337 points ARABIA ABU DHABI The index dropped 0.3 pct to 5,243 points DUBAI The index was up 0.3 pct to 2,759 points QATAR The index added 0.8 pct to 10,481 points EGYPT The index slid 0.3 pct to 14,880 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.1 pct at 1,435 points OMAN The index was flat at 3,965 points KUWAIT The index rose 1.4 pct at 6,126 points ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich)