UAE hit by poor Q4 earnings; Kuwait retreats in volatile trade

 09 Feb 2017 - 21:45


Dubai: Poor fourth-quarter earnings from two United Arab Emirates companies weighed on stock markets there yesterday while Kuwait pulled back in another day of volatile trade.
Dubai's index fell 1.2 percent to 3,683 points, retreating from major technical resistance at 3,737-38 points, the peaks in January. Air Arabia slumped 8.6 percent in unusually heavy trade after it made a net loss attributable to owners of DH38.6m ($10.5m) versus a net profit of DH55.9m in the prior-year period. Analysts at EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast a net profit of DH131.8m and DH127.9m respectively. The board, citing difficult conditions in the regional aviation industry, recommended a cash dividend of 7 percent for 2016, down from 9 percent for 2015.
Union Properties dropped 6.2 percent after the mid-sized developer made a 2016 full-year net profit of DH211.4m, down 51 percent from 2015.
In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas retreated 1.9 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit came in at $7m, down from $134.2m in the year-ago period. The sharp drop was partly due to fact that Dana made a one-off gain from an arbitration settlement in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Kuwait's index fell 1.1 percent in heavy volume, reversing a rise of the same size on the previous day; the market surged 19 percent in January and has been seesawing in volatile trade since then as investors take profits.
Logistics conglomerate Agility tumbled 6.7 percent after saying it was seeking to settle by arbitration a $380m dispute with Iraq's government over its investment in the Iraqi telecommunications industry.
Saudi Arabia's index closed almost flat with declining shares outnumbering rising ones by 81 to 63. Samba Financial Group dropped 1.2 percent while about two-thirds of insurance stocks closed lower; Al Ahlia for Cooperative Insurance slumped 5.0 percent. However the largest listed stock, Saudi Basic Industries , gained 1.1 percent as Brent oil climbed back over $55.50 a barrel.
Retailer Jarir Marketing added 1.2 percent after the company said it had opened a new store in Al Madinah, while Tihama Advertising jumped 8.3 percent.