Saudi stocks rose on Wednesday as the earnings at National Commercial Bank boosted financial stocks. However, financial shares weighed down the Qatar market.
Saudi's index edged up 0.1%. The country's biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, gained 0.7% after posting a 24% rise in second-quarter profit, helped by higher fee and commission income and lower expenses.
Saudi banks have benefited from higher interest rates and increased demand for loans to support housing and government-related projects.
Ataa Educational surged 10% on its first day of trading. The school network operator offered 12 million shares representing 30% of its share capital at a price of 29 riyals per share.
Maharah Human Resources, which went public earlier this year, jumped 6.8% after its second-quarter profit rose 25%.
Qatar's index fell 0.8%, weighed down by a 1.4% drop in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar before its earnings report on Thursday. EFG Hermes forecast a 47% plunge in its second-quarter profit.
Qatar Insurance was down 4.4% after reporting 410 million riyals of first-half profit, including 266 million riyals for the first quarter. EFG Hermes had forecast a profit of 209 million riyals for the second quarter.
Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.3%. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country's second biggest bank, dropped 0.9% for its third straight day of losses after reporting an 11% drop in second-quarter profit.
Dubai's index was up 0.2%. Emirates NBD gained 0.9% and Emaar Properties rose 0.7%. The developer has risen in recent sessions after signing a memorandum of understanding for an $11 billion project at Beijing's new airport.
(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;))