|21 May, 2020

Mideast Stocks: Slow growth, poor earnings push Egypt lower, Major Gulf stocks mixed

EFG Hermes drops on poor earnings

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt September 23, 2019.

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt September 23, 2019.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt's stock market fell on Thursday in response to the country's slower growth rate and poor quarterly profit reported by investment bank EFG Hermes 

Major Gulf markets were little changed ahead of Eid holidays that start on Sunday.

Egypt posted GDP growth of 5% in the three months to March, undershooting a forecast of 5.9% because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The country, which is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for financial support, will deduct 1% from people's salaries for 12 months to offset economic impact from the coronavirus. 

The blue-chip index dropped 0.9% to 10,110 points. Commercial International Bank Egypt weighed on the index most, falling 2.7%.

EFG Hermes plunged 4.6% to be the second biggest drag on the index. The Egypt-based investment bank reported nearly a 76% decline in first quarter profit to 90 million Egyptian pounds ($5.69 million). 

Saudi Arabia's index was flat at 7,051 points. Al Rajhi Bank shed 1.2% and Samba Financial Group rose 2.6%.

National Commercial Bank rose 0.8% for its seventh straight day. The lender on Sunday reported a 2.1% rise in quarterly profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged down 0.4% to 4,113 points, with First Abu Dhabi Bank  losing 0.9%.

Emirates Telecommunications fell 0.4% for the second day after saying its chief executive had resigned.

Dubai's index was up 0.3% at 1,939 points. Emirates NBD Bank gained 0.6%, while Dubai Financial Market rose 2.7% after its quarterly profit jumped 23.5% to 34.7 million dirhams ($9.45 million).

 ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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