Middle East Shares Mixed

MidEast stocks were mixed, with Egypt rallying after the finance minister there said he would propose only a gradual introduction of a stamp duty on transactions. Amr al-Garhy told Reuters on Wednesday he would propose a duty starting at 1.25 Egyptian pounds($0.08) per 1,000 to the government next week, rising to 1.5 pounds in the second year of implementation and 1.75 pounds in the third.

In company news, Talaat Mostafa said annual net profit was 826 million Egyptian pounds, with revenues rising to 6.55 billion pounds from 6.18 billion pounds in the previous year.Dubai Islamic Bank and GFH Financial each went ex-dividend. Arabtec presented a three-phase recovery plan in which it predicted stabilization of its business in 2017, preparation for expansion in 2018, and growth in 2019.

Najran Cement said it was temporarily halting one of its production lines with output capacity of 3,000 tonnes per day because of low demand and high inventory build-up.

By Chris Robinson