Mideast Stocks: Corporate earnings lift UAE; other major markets extend losses

Saudi's Metlife slides on merger approval

An investor (L) gestures to an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market, March 24, 2010.

An investor (L) gestures to an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market, March 24, 2010.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates rose on Tuesday as positive corporate earnings outweighed pessimism about the coronavirus outbreak in China, while other major markets extended losses.

The Abu Dhabi index ended 0.2% hhigher, supported by a 7.2% surge in International Holding Company before its board meeting on Wednesday to approve fiscal-year earnings.

First Abu Dhabi Bank added 0.3% after posting a 5% increase in fourth-quarter profit. The United Arab Emirates' largest bank recorded a net profit of 3.08 billion dirhams ($838.60 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with 2.93 billion year ago. 

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, ending four days of losses as National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed)  jumped 6.3%, its biggest intraday gain since December 2018.

Tabreed's annual profit rose more than 10% to 472.5 million dirhams and proposed a cash dividend of 10.5 fils per share for the year 2019.

In the previous session, Gulf stocks saw sharp declines as worries mounted about the possible economic impact of the coronavirus. Declines were more modest on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the visiting chief of the World Health Organisation that he was confident of winning the battle against a "devil" coronavirus that has killed at least 106 people and spread across the world. 

Saudi's benchmark index slipped 0.2% as Jarir Marketing declined 2.6%. Arab National Bank was down 1.7%.

Metlife AIG ANB plunged 5.2% after its shareholders approved a merger with Walaa Cooperative Insurance. Walaa advanced 3.7%.

The Qatari index eased 0.6%. Qatar National Bank retreated 1.4%. Industries Qatar was down 0.9%.

Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.1%, hurt by a 1.3% drop in Talaat Mostafa Holding.

The index got some support from Telecom Egypt, which soared 10%, its biggest gain since April 2009, on reports that Vodafone Group  might sell its stake in its Egyptian unit, Vodafone Egypt.

Telecom Egypt said on Sunday it had no intention of selling its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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