Banking shares buoy Saudi; Qatar index edges down

 26 Oct 2016 - 1:52


DUBAI: Banking shares boosted Saudi Arabia’s stock market yesterday while the majority of other Gulf markets sagged on uninspiring quarterly results.
In Qatar, the index of the 20 most valuable shares closed down 0.02 percent. Qatar International Islamic Bank closed flat after reporting a rise in third-quarter net profit.
Egypt recovered sightly, but investors remain anxious over dollar shortage woes.
The Saudi stock market index gained 1.5 percent, its fifth consecutive session of gains as all 12 of the listed lenders advanced. Bank Aljazira was the top performer amongst its peers, jumping 6.5 percent. National Commercial Bank, the second largest by market value, gained 4.6 percent.
The banking sector has been the backbone of the stock market’s recovery since the kingdom successfully conducted the largest emerging market international bond sale last week.
“The sector’s third-quarter earnings were generally weak but also broadly in line with expectations, but the bond sale coupled with more stable oil prices are giving investors the necessary jolt to return to markets,” said Muhammed Shabbir, an independent investment adviser.
Shabbir added that trading volumes have to continue rising for the rally to sustain.
The petrochemical sub-index also firmed as Brent crude futures held over $51.50 a barrel. Saudi Basic Industries rose 1.5 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.6 percent as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) fell 0.5 percent after the lender reported nearly flat third-quarter net profit on Monday.
Profit came in at 508.9 million dirhams ($139 million), up 1.1 percent from a year ago; EFG Hermes had forecast 494.5 million dirhams. ADIB booked credit provisions and impairment charges totalling 267.7 million dirhams in the third quarter, compared to 193.0 million dirhams in the year-ago period.
Peer First Gulf Bank, which is due to announce earnings on Wednesday, dropped 3.2 percent, its fourth session of declines.
In Dubai, the main stock index fell 0.7 percent, hit by a 3.0-percent fall for Mashreqbank, which had reported a decline in net profit earlier this week. Dubai Islamic Bank fell 0.3 percent, after reporting a 9.9 percent decline in net profit on Monday.
Profit taking on recent price gains dragged amusement park builder DXB Entertainments 1.8 percent lower. Its shares have actively trading this month ahead of the opening of its theme parks on October 31. Cairo’s index of the 30 most valuable shares rebounded 0.4 percent, recovering some of Monday’s 0.6 percent loss as EFG Hermes gained 3.6 percent in active trade after the investment firm said it is expanding into the US with a permanent New York office. Monday shares in the company swung in volatile trade after it said one of its subsidiaries had temporarily shut a factory after the government seized its store of sugar.