Abu Dhabi stocks closed more than 2% lower to hit a three-month low on Friday after its largest lender by assets, First Abu Dhabi Bank, reported weaker than expected earnings.

The Abu Dhabi index slid 2.7%, its biggest intraday loss since mid may, dragged down by a 4.8% drop in First Abu Dhabi Bank. On Thursday, the lender posted 2.5 billion dirhams ($680.66 million) net profit in the fourth-quarter, a 26% decline from last year that missed analyst estimates of 2.95 billion dirhams.

The lender also slashed its annual cash dividend by 26% to 52 fils a share from 2021. Among other losers, state-controlled integrated utility firm Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (also known as TAQA) tumbled 8.2%, while investment firm Multiply Group plunged 6.7%.

The Abu Dhabi index continued its decline under the pressure of the lower performance of First Abu Dhabi Bank, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.

According to Daniel, a modest performance in oil markets is also leaving equities without much support. Dubai's benchmark index settled 0.8% lower, weighed down by heavy losses in utilities and index heavyweight real estate stocks.

Shares of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation declined 4.6%, its worst day since debut in the market, while blue-chip developer Emaar Properties lost 1.6%

  • ABU DHABI down 2.7% to 9,661
  • DUBAI fell 0.8% to 3,329

($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)