Thursday, Aug 16, 2012
Saudi SE 7003.79 +0.51%
Dubai FM 1578.98 +0.09%
Abu Dhabi SM 2556.96 +0.13%
Kuwait SE 5713.28 +0.22%
Doha SM 8421.08 +0.03%
Muscat SM 5508.88 +0.18%
Bahrain SE 1080.00 +0.33%
Cairo SE 5120.25 +0.19%
Amman 1877.75 -0.03%
ICE Brent $/bbl 116.25 00.00%
Gold $/troy oz 1608.80 00.00%
Euro-USD 1.23 -0.16%
DJIA 13164.78 -0.10%
By Tim Falconer
Of ZAWYA DOW JONES
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--Stocks in the Persian Gulf region will likely move a tight band Thursday as market activity wanes ahead of the Eid Al Fitr holiday break.
Most bourses will close Sunday and Monday for Eid, while Saudi Arabia will close for the whole of next week.
With second quarter earnings season drawing to a close, investor attention is turning towards the second half of 2012 and the prospect of markets moving higher into the year-end, said one local fund manager.
"We are likely to see a continued rally in Egypt and a pick-up in Qatar. The U.A.E. has had a nice run and Saudi Arabia is still consolidating for a push into next year," he said.
For Thursday though, investors won't be able to draw much inspiration from lackluster offshore markets. On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7.36 points, or 0.1%, to 13164.78. Meanwhile, Asian shares were mostly higher early Thursday, as a weaker yen gave a boost to the Japanese market, and earnings remained the focus in Australia.
U.A.E.: Dubai's market closed up 0.1% at 1578.98 Wednesday, while in Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index there also finished +0.1% at 2556.96.
In Dubai, shares of Drake & Scull tumbled 1.9% to AED0.910. The Dubai-based construction company said second quarter net profit almost halved to 26.1 million U.A.E. dirhams ($7.1 million) as work on some international projects slowed and contract provisions rose, but it expects its expansion into the rail and oil & gas sectors to boost revenue in the second half of 2012.
"We remain equal-weight as we believe there are risks related to execution in new regions, continued margin pressure and provisions on outstanding receivables," Morgan Stanley said in an emailed note to clients.
Deyaar Development shares dropped 0.6% to AED0.363. The real estate developer on Tuesday posted a second-quarter net profit of 18.6 million United Arab Emirates dirhams ($5.1 million), slightly higher than a year earlier, as it continues to focus on completing existing projects amid challenging market conditions.
In Abu Dhabi, shares of Sorouh Real Estate lost 0.9% to AED1.09.
Property consultants CBRE said Abu Dhabi's residential and commercial real estate markets will continue to experience deflationary pressures during the second half of 2012 as new supply continues to outpace demand growth and heighten competition.
SAUDI ARABIA: The benchmark Tadawul Index closed 0.5% higher at 7003.79 Wednesday. The stock exchange is closed until Aug. 25 due to the Eid holiday.
KUWAIT: The market finished up 0.2% at 5713.28 Wednesday.
In terms of stocks, National Bank of Kuwait rose 1% to KWD1.00.
Shares of Agility closed flat at KWD0.405 a day after posting a second-quarter net profit of 7.82 million Kuwaiti dinars ($27.7 million), only marginally lower than its year-earlier effort as it restructured its business amid the economic slowdown.
QATAR: Doha's market closed Wednesday unchanged at 8421.08
BAHRAIN: The main gauge of stocks closed 0.3% higher at 1080.00.
OMAN: Muscat's market ended 0.2% higher at 5508.88 Wednesday, underpinned by banking stocks.
Shares of Bank Sohar rose 1.5% to OMR0.138, while Bank Muscat added 0.4% to OMR0.540.
EGYPT: The market closed 0.2% higher at 5120.25.
EFG Hermes shares gained 2.5% to EGP11.12. The financial services group on Wednesday reported a 66% decline in second-quarter net profit as revenue from its investment banking division fell due to a slump in capital markets and treasury activity.
Commercial International Bank said net profit in the second quarter rose 18% on the year as net interest income surged and Egypt's biggest lender by market value reigned in expenses. Its shares ended 0.8% up at EGP28.65.
Meanwhile, shares of Orascom Telecom Holding ended down 0.3% at EGP3.65. The telco late Tuesday said it swung to a second-quarter net profit of $27 million as it increased the number of subscribers and data usage.
NEWS FROM AROUND THE GULF: Kuwait Energy Co. and its main partner, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp., said Wednesday they have started oil and gas condensate production in four wells within the Abu Sennan concession, located at Egypt's Western Desert.
Morocco has raised its growth forecast for this year to 3.4%, thanks to an increase in foreign investment and a good performance by Moroccan industry, Prime Minister Abdelillah Benkirane told parliament Tuesday, according to a report on the state news agency MAP.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., the firm building four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates, said Wednesday it awarded six contracts worth $3 billion for its fuel supply program to six international companies.
Egypt is currently studying a plan to sell a stake in the country's stock market, but it would retain a majority holding, state-run Middle East News Agency, or MENA, reported, citing the bourse's chairman Ashraf El-Sharkawy.
-By Tim Falconer, Dow Jones Newswires; +9714 446-1690; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Co.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires