MIDEAST STOCKS-Region to be cautious as holidays end, Dana may continue surge | News by Country

DUBAI, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Middle Eastern stock markets look set to trade cautiously as they reopen after long Eid al-Adha holidays on Tuesday, although Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas may continue rising sharply after its deal to obtain payments from the government of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Among major markets, Kuwait and Egypt reopen on Tuesday, joining United Arab Emirates markets, which resumed trading on Monday and barely moved. Saudi Arabia and Qatar will reopen on Wednesday.

The global environment is broadly neutral, with MSCI’s dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.1 percent and Brent oil little changed above $52 a barrel. Sentiment is restrained by the North Korea nuclear crisis.

Dana jumped 14.1 percent on Monday after Iraqi Kurdistan agreed to immediately pay Dana’s gas production consortium $1 billion, including $400 million that will be used for investment in the region; Dana will receive 35 percent of the money.

The stock may continue to rise on expectations that the deal will permit the consortium to boost output sharply. Majid Jafar, managing director of the board of Dana, told Reuters that the consortium would raise production within two years from the current 330 million cubic feet a day to 800 million – enough to supply the annual gas needs of a country the size of Austria.

“This is only the next phase. These fields could potentially produce several times more,” he said. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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