* 18 of 20 Qatari stocks rise
* Saudi's Gulf Union, Al-Ahlia rise on acquisition progress
* 9 of 12 Saudi banks gain
* Tabuk rises on MoU for cement export to Yemen
By Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff
Jan 3 (Reuters) - Major Gulf markets staged a recovery on
Thursday after opening on a weak note on global market woes,
with renewed interest in financial stocks helping overcome
volatility in global markets.
The Qatari index rose 0.7 percent, with 18 of its 20
stocks advancing. The Middle East's second largest petrochemical
firm Industries Qatar added 1.8 percent while Qatar
Islamic Bank increased 0.9 percent.
But Mesaieed Petrochemical plunged by 7.3 percent,
having jumped by its 10 percent daily limit in the previous
session on news that major shareholder Qatar Petroleum had
finished distributing a tranche of free incentive shares to
investors, potentially improving liquidity in the stock.
Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.5 percent, with Al
Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8 percent and Saudi Basic
Industries up 1 percent.
Tabuk Cement rose 2.2 percent after saying it had
signed a memorandum of understanding to export 600,000 tonnes of
clinkers and 150,000 tonnes of cement to war-torn Yemen.
Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance added 2.5 percent
after publishing an offer document for a proposed acquisition of
Al-Ahlia Insurance Co in a share-swap deal. Al-Ahlia
jumped 7.7 percent in active trade.
The Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.5 percent,
gaining for a third straight session, aided by its bank shares.
Commercial International Bank advanced 1.1 percent
and tobacco maker Eastern Co climbed 2.1 percent.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.7 percent, with First
Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.7 percent and Dana Gas
adding 3.3 percent. Dana Gas said earlier this week
that it had received $324 million of receivables in 2018,
including $199 million from Egypt.
The Dubai index, one of the world's
worst-performing stock markets last year, inched up 0.2 percent
in late buying. Dubai Investments added 3.2 percent
and DAMAC Properties gained 2 percent.
($1 = 17.9100 Egyptian pounds)
SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.5 pct at 7,830 points
DUBAI The index added 0.2 pct to 2,526 points
QATAR The index gained 0.7 pct to 10,350 points
ABU DHABI The index rose 0.7 pct to 4,898 points
EGYPT The index rose 0.5 pct to 13,265 points
KUWAIT The index was up 0.7 pct at 5,341 points
OMAN The index fell 0.6 pct to 4,276 points
BAHRAIN The index edged down 0.3 pct to 1,326
(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Heinrich)