Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets muted, Saudi stocks gain on upbeat heavyweight earnings

Major Gulf stock markets were little changed in early trade on Wednesday


Major Gulf stock markets were little changed in early trade on Wednesday, with Saudi Arabian shares edging up on upbeat corporate earnings by heavyweights.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was trading nearly 0.1% higher in early trade.

The Saudi National Bank was up 0.6%, while Saudi Aramco added 0.1%, extending gains from Tuesday after the state oil producer reported 30% increase in quarterly profit. 

Arriyadh Development  jumped 4.6% as its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago. 

However, Saudi market gains were capped by a 0.5% slip in Saudi Telecom, which traded ex-dividend.

Dubai's benchmark index edged up 0.2%. Dubai Islamic Bank gained 0.2%, while the blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was down 0.3%.

Ajman Bank rose as much as 2.4% after it posted higher first-quarter profit. 

Dubai's tourism chief on Tuesday said he was very optimistic that business and leisure travellers would return this year, though the pandemic made it difficult to predict exactly how many. 

Dubai, a trade and tourism hub which has kept its borders open since reopening last July, saw 1.26 million visitors in the first quarter, while last year the number of visitors fell 67% to 5.5 million.

The Abu Dhabi index was flat. Emirates Telecommunications Group lost 0.1%, while Waha Capital jumped 3.5% after reporting first-quarter profit of 111 million dirhams ($30.22 million), compared with a 297 million dirhams loss for a year earlier.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company gained 0.7% as it posted 1.4 billin dirhams profit in the first 

Qatari index was up 0.1%. Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank both gained 0.2%.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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