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MIDEAST STOCKS-New Saudi-MSCI index dips; earnings boost Dubai

* Saudi's Bahri falls on lower Q4 profit * Dubai's Deyaar gains on FY results * Abu Dhabi's ADCB climbs after three-way banking merger * Egypt's Ezz steel continues to rise on rating hike By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan Jan 31 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market, which introduced the MSCI Tadawul 30 index, fell on Thursday as its bank stocks slid, while Dubai gained sharply lifted by corporate earnings results.

Saudi Arabia's main index fell 0.3 percent. National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia dropped 2.5 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit more than halved.

But Riyad Bank rose 2.1 percent after posting a 39 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations.

The MSCI Tadawul 30 Index (MT30) was down 0.2 percent. The index of the 30 largest securities listed on the Saudi Arabian Equity Market went live on Wednesday.

The index's top two heavyweights Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Separately, Saudi Arabia is set to join the emerging-market indexes of MSCI and FTSE Russell later this year. That is expected to attract $15 billion of "passive" benchmark-linked funds and billions more in active funds, regardless of low oil prices or geopolitical tensions.

Saudi's economy grew at a pace of 2.21 percent in 2018, buoyed by strong oil sector growth. The government did not break down the fourth-quarter data, but full-year growth figures suggested economic growth accelerated in the last quarter.

In Dubai, the index rose 1.1 percent, boosted by a 1.5 percent increase in the emirate's biggest lender Emirates NBD, and a 1.4 percent gain in Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB).

DISB, which fell in the last session after declaring a lower dividend, was upgraded by Arqaam Capital, with a target price of 7.6 dirhams, up from 7.2 dirhams.

The brokerage said it welcomed the improved allocation of capital, retaining about 60 percent of its earnings rather than paying out 60 percent as it had in the past.

Deyaar Development increased 3.3 percent after reporting a 7.4 percent rise in its full-year profit to 140.1 million dirhams($38.15 million).

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.1 percent. After market closed, the firm reported a 3.9 percent gain its fourth-quarter profit of 2.93 billion dirhams and raised its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) gained 3.7 percent. ADCB, Union National Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank agreed a merger to create the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, with $114 billion of assets. UNB traded flat.

Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent. Ezz Steel increased 4.8 percent, rising for a third session after HC Research upgraded the stock to "overweight" with price target of 27 Egyptian pounds.

Qatar's index was flat with Vodafone Qatar rising 3.3 percent. SAUDI The index fell 0.3 pct to 8,560 points ARABIA DUBAI The index rose 1.1 pct to 2,568 points QATAR The index was flat at 10,720 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.8 pct to 5,045 points EGYPT The index rose 0.2 pct to 14,127 points KUWAIT The index fell 0.2 pct to 5,430 points OMAN The index fell 1.2 pct to 4,166 points BAHRAIN The index was down 0.1 pct at 1,391 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)