STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Egypt stocks tumble after Cairo blast

1020 GMT - Egypt's bourse, which was stabilising after heavy profit taking this week, comes under pressure again after a explosions in Cairo killed two people including a police brigadier-general on Wednesday.

The Cairo benchmark tumbles 3.1 percent to 7,686 points with all constituent shares in the black.

Arab Cotton Ginning Co dropped by its daily limit of 10 percent and several other stocks were close, including Telecom Egypt and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology which dropped 9.2 percent and 9.1 percent respectively.

"What happened yesterday was big," says Chamel Fahmy of Cairo-based HC Securities and Investment, referring to the blast which instilled pessimism in retail investors.

Egypt's stock market had rallied on expectations that former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would run for president. His official announcement last week triggered heavy profit-taking.

However, Fahmy said, investors are likely to start making fresh bets in the run-up to the presidential election set for May 26-27 - which Sisi is expected to win easily.

"The closer we get to the presidential election, the more people will ignore what is going on in the street," said Fahmy.

"I am not extremely negative on the market, I think that by next week some buyers will emerge."


0730 GMT - Dubai developer Deyaar jumps ahead of a shareholder vote on allowing non-Gulf foreign investors to buy up to 25 percent of its shares.

The stock gains 9 percent to 1.57 dirhams on strong volume, helping the bourse index add 0.9 percent.

According to bourse data, Deyaar currently allows only investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to buy its stock.

Analysts say Deyaar, which has yet to recover to its mid-2008 levels, is one of the stocks offering investors a way to profit from Dubai's rising property prices.

Larger developer Emaar Properties, which is up 1.5 percent at 10.2 dirhams on Thursday, already trades above the levels seen in September 2008 when local stocks tumbled in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Another local developer, Union Properties, gains 2.7 percent and contractor Arabtec Holding adds 1.3 percent. ----------------------------------------------------------------

0545 GMT - Stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia appear bullish after gaining on rising volumes this week, while Abu Dhabi's bourse may come under pressure as several stocks go ex-dividend on Thursday.

Dubai's benchmark rose 1.2 percent to 4,576 points on Wednesday as trading volumes surged 64 percent from a day earlier. Developers Deyaar and Union Properties spearheaded the rally, adding 8.3 and 5.7 percent respectively.

Deyaar shareholders will decide on Thursday whether to allow investors from outside of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to buy up to 25 percent of its stock. If approved, the move should increase its liquidity.

Lender Emirates NBD added 5 percent on Wednesday while Dubai World, to which it has major exposure, held an annual meeting with creditors.

The conglomerate then reassured investors it was not looking to restructure debt again after it hired investment and advisory firm Blackstone Group LP to take a fresh look at its liabilities and how to make repayments to creditors.

In Saudi Arabia, the market has been gaining slowly but steadily all week on higher-than-average volumes. Trading increased further on Wednesday, indicating a bullish mood.

NBK Capital has raised its fair value estimates for six Saudi banks by 14-44 percent based on their 2013 performance, giving a buy recommendation to Samba Financial Group.

Abu Dhabi's bourse, which edged up 0.02 percent on Wednesday, may come under pressure as several stocks including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Aldar Properties go ex-dividend. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Matt Smith)