Saudi sags on profit taking; Qatar index adds 0.02%
21 Nov 2016 - 22:22
Dubai: Stock markets in the Gulf diverged yesterday with Saudi Arabia’s index cooling for a third session as investors book profits on lofty prices while Abu Dhabi rebounded slightly. In Qatar, index added 0.02 percent to 9,783 points.
Egypt hit yet another 8-year high as foreign investors continued to reprice equities as the local currency weakened against the US dollar.
Riyadh’s main index fell 1.1 percent in modest trade, with roughly 70 percent of the traded shares declining. It is now down 2.3 percent over the past three sessions but is still up 14.9 percent over the last 30 days.
Banking shares, which have been the chief gainers over the past four weeks, were hard hit with all but two of the listed lenders closing lower.
Blue-chip Samba Financial Group lost 4.4 percent to 21.90 riyals and Saudi British Bank fell 4.7 percent. Shares in both lenders are now trading close to the expected fair price of analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data, a sign that long term value-traders will have little impetus to add further shares to their portfolios.
“For over a month the stock market has been performing in a silo, disconnected from the global environment even somewhat dislocated from the movement in crude oil prices,” said a Riyadh-based portfolio manager.
Over the past month, Brent oil is down 9.5 percent while the petrochemical sector is up 8.3 percent. However, despite a bounce in crude oil prices over $47 a barrel the majority of the listed oil-derivative shares fell. National Petrochemical Co fell 2.9 percent.
Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.2 percent after falling 1.7percent on Sunday. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank climbed
0.3 percent and Union National Bank added 0.7 percent. On Sunday, UNB dropped 5.2 percent and ADCB lost 2.7 percent after both lenders issued separate statements denying last week’s Bloomberg report that they were involved in merger talks. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ended flat after pulling back 0.8 percent on Sunday after the lender said that it has no plans to merge with Alhilal Bank.
Dubai’s Shuaa Capital jumped 10.8 percent, taking its gains over the last two session to 19.1 percent as investors were optimistic that its new shareholder, Cairo’s index of the most active shares gained 2.4 percent taking the index to yet another 8-year high in heavy trade.
Foreign funds, which have been aggressive buyers of Egyptian blue chips since the currency was floated on November 3, were net buyers on Monday, bourse data showed. The Egyptian pound weakend yesterday, trading between 17.30 to 17.70 against the dollar.