Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses off to a mixed start

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%

  
A Saudi man looks at the computer showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

A Saudi man looks at the computer showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trading on Wednesday as corporate earnings season picks up, with the Abu Dhabi index leading the gains.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.4% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.3% increase oil behemoth Saudi Aramco.

Ratings firm Fitch raised Aramco's outlook to stable and affirmed its IDR at 'A'. 

Dubai's main share index eased 0.2%, with its top lender Emirates NBD losing 1.1% and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties decreasing 0.3%.

Emirates NBD posted a second-quarter net profit of 2.46 billion dirhams ($669.83 million), up from 2.01 billion dirhams, but it saw a decline in net interest income. 

On the other hand, Dubai Islamic Bank added 0.6% after it posted flat quarterly net income. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.3% rise in conglomerate International Holding.

Among other gainers, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)  was up 0.1% after the United Arab Emirates' largest lender posted a net profit of 2.879 billion dirhams ($783.87 million) for the quarter to June 30, up from 2.4 billion a year earlier. 

FAB's net impairment charges fell 36% to 677 million dirhams while Emirates NBD's almost halved to 851 million dirhams.

The Qatari index fell 0.3%, hit by a 0.9% fall in Qatar National Bank and a 0.5% drop in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

However, the index's loss were limited by gains at Commercial Bank, which was up over 2% as the bank reported a higher net profit for the first-half of 2021.

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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