Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets end mixed, Abu Dhabi extends weekly gains

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eked out a 0.1% rise

  
Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Stringer

Major stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Thursday, following an OPEC+ agreement to stick to gradual output hikes, with the Abu Dhabi index registering its sixth weekly gain.

OPEC and its allies on Wednesday agreed to stick to their existing policy of gradual oil output increases, despite revising their 2022 demand outlook upwards and ongoing U.S. pressure to raise production more quickly. 

"Crude markets should see less pressure and softer prices soon, following the production increase approval, which is scheduled for October," said Daniel Takieddine, senior market analyst at FXPrimus.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eked out a 0.1% rise, helped by a 2.1% gain in Sahara International Petrochemical Co and a 0.3% increase in oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial shares, rose, supported by a sharp decline in U.S. crude stocks and a weaker dollar.

However, the gains were capped by the OPEC+ decision to stick to its policy of gradually increasing output.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.1%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) putting on 0.5%.

On Wednesday, troubled hospital operator NMC said its creditors have approved a restructuring process that will give them ownership of 34 NMC group companies and allow those entities to exit administration in Abu Dhabi. 

ADCB, one of NMC's largest creditors, said it is expected to receive 39% of transferable exit instruments in a new $2.25 billion facility, linked to the expected future value of the new entity.

"The restructuring terms are favourable, in our view, and should help ease its provisioning burden," EFG Hermes said in a research note.

The investment bank trimmed its provisioning forecasts for the lender and raised its target price to 9 dirhams from 8.4 dirhams, while maintaining a 'Buy' rating on the stock.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.2%, a day after it closed at its highest in over two years. Emaar Properties retreated 0.7%, giving up some gains from the previous session.

The blue-chip developer is weighing options to sell fashion e-commerce business Namshi that may include a listing abroad via a SPAC. 

Elsewhere, the Qatari benchmark was down 0.2%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.2%, with Pioneers Holding leaping over 7%, extending gains from the previous session following a sharp rise in its second-quarter earnings.

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


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