Saudi shares bounce; Qatar index drops 0.3%
25 Oct 2016 - 0:44
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s stock market closed higher for a fourth straight session yesterday after last week’s mega international bond sale by the government boosted sentiment, but Egyptian shares dropped further as a chronic dollar shortage weighed on sentiment.
In Qatar, the index dropped 0.3 percent as petrochemicals, metals and fertiliser producer Industries Qatar fell 2.2%. Riyadh’s stock index rose 1.0 percent, taking its gains over the last four sessions to 6.2 percent.
It underperformed the region earlier this year as low oil prices and government austerity measures hit the economy hard, so it may now have more room to snap back.
“At current valuations, the positive mood in the market is not likely to fade, but investors are starting to hunt for bargain buys,” said a Jeddah-based portfolio manager.
Petrochemical and industrial company Alujain jumped 7.6 percent after it said it would distribute a dividend of 0.5 riyal per share for 2016 - its first dividend since 1998.
Retail chain Jarir Marketing gained 3.2 percent after Chairman Muhammad Alagil told Reuters that the retail sector’s slump might be close to ending: “We think the sharp decline is fundamentally over, or will be over by the end of this year.”
The stock had dropped 45 percent year-to-date. Alagil said it was excessively cheap and he didn’t exclude the possibility of a share buy-back, though he stressed this would depend on the board’s decision.
Other local demand-driven shares also firmed, with Jarir’s competitor United Electronics (Extra) adding 3.0 percent.
Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent with GFH Financial Group, the most traded stock, jumping 6.4 percent after the company said it won a civil case against a former deputy chief executive at one of its units for an around of $5m.
But Deyaar Development fell 0.2 percent despite reporting a 22.5 percent jump in third-quarter profit; revenue for the period soared five times.
Abu Dhabi slipped 0.2 percent, weighed down by declines in blue chips. Telecommunication operator Etisalat dropped 1.0 percent and First Gulf Bank lost 0.9 percent. Both companies are due to report quarterly results on Wednesday.
But Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank added 0.7 percent, recovering from an initial drop in its first hour of trade after reporting a 17 percent fall in third-quarter profit to 999.1m dirhams ($272m). Three analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 1.10bn dirhams. The stock rebounded in active trade to stand 0.2 percent higher.
Egypt’s index of the 30 most valuable shares retreated 0.6 percent. It is now down 3.3 percent since hitting a 16-month high on Oct. 16. Sugar has almost vanished at supermarkets across Egypt, prompting media talk of a crisis and pushing the state to rapidly increase imports. This sparked anxiety across other commodity and export-linked sectors . Arab Cotton Ginning lost 1.1 percent and Arabian Food Industries fell 0.7 percent.