|06 February, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Financials weigh on Qatar, most major Gulf markets gain

Emirates NBD at its highest in six-months

Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Most major Gulf stock markets rose on Wednesday with Dubai leading gains on the back of its financial stocks, while Qatar was pulled down by its banking shares.

Saudi Arabia's index inched up 0.1 percent with bank Samba Financial Grouprising 2 percent and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries gaining 0.8 percent.

Insurance provider United Cooperative Assurance Co climbed 6.3 percent after the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance renewed its licence for one year.

Saudi Investment Bank gained 1.4 percent. The firm appointed Faisal Bin Abdullah al-Omran as its Chief Executive on Tuesday.

"Investor sentiment was bullish [in January] as the influx of foreign funds, uptick in oil prices and expansionary budget policies are all expected to support corporate earnings growth in 2019," Marmore MENA Intelligence said in a note.

Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.2 percent for its tenth straight session of gains with Juhayna Food rising 4.4 percent. The stock has gained nearly 9 percent after it said last week that its full-year profit more than doubled.

The country's biggest lender Commercial International Bank rose 0.3 percent. The bank reported a fourth-quarter net profit after minority interest of 2.56 billion Egyptian pounds ($145.70 million) compared to 1.87 billion pounds a year ago.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.6 percent helped by a 2 percent rise in Emirates NBD. Dubai's largest bank has called for a shareholders' meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss the issuance of multi-billion dirham non-convertible securities.

Emaar Malls , which has shed more than 16 percent so far this year, recouped some losses, gaining 2.7 percent, while DAMAC Properties DAMAC.DU climbed 3.2 percent after HSBC raised its rating to 'hold' from 'reduce'.

Qatar's index was down 0.3 percent with most of its banks slipping. Telecommunications firm Ooredoo fell 3.9 percent in active trade.

The Abu Dhabi index  edged up 0.1 percent with Emirates Telecommunications Groupadding 0.5 percent, and Abu Dhabi National Hotels surging 5.8 percent after proposing a higher dividend for 2018.

SAUDI ARABIA

The index gained 0.1 pct to 8,633 points

DUBAI

The index added 0.6 pct to 2,557 points

QATAR

The index fell 0.3 pct to 10,684 points

ABU DHABI

The index edged up 0.1 pct to 5,143 points

EGYPT

The index rose 0.2 pct to 14,767 points

KUWAIT

The index lost 0.2 pct to 5,440 points

OMAN

The index was down 0.2 pct at 4,161 points

BAHRAIN

The index increased 0.4 pct to 1,409 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 17.5700 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Alexandra Hudson) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

More From Markets