Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets gain; Qatar dips

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.1%


Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday, supported by a slew of corporate earnings, although Qatar bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.1%, driven by a 0.6% increase in Saudi National Bank, while Alinma Bank climbed 1.6% following a surge in first-quarter net profit. 

Separately, Saudi Tadawul Group has short-listed three local and three foreign banks for potential advisory roles in the financial market company's upcoming initial public offering (IPO), Reuters reported, citing three sources. 

In Dubai, the benchmark index gained 0.7%, on track to end three sessions of losses, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties advancing 1.6%, while Emirates NBD Bank was up 0.8%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.4% increase in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

FAB, the country's biggest lender, posted a 3% rise in first-quarter net profit, helped by a sharp drop in impairment charges and said it expected a pick-up in economic and business activity. 

The bank expected the vaccine rollout and improving macro economic outlook would underpin business activity in the second half of 2021.

The Qatari benchmark eased 0.1%, hit by a 2.7% decline in United Development Company after the firm reported a fall in first-quarter net profit. 

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

More From Equities