MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt sink but UAE, Qatar climb – Reuters

9 months ago Comments Off on MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt sink but UAE, Qatar climb – Reuters

* Saudi falls as local traders dump small and mid-cap shares

* Egypt tumbles to near its 27-month low

* Dubai’s real estate sector lifts bourse

* Abu Dhabi up but many blue chips sag

* Qatar’s Gulf International Services jumps 6 pct

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Feb 14 Stock markets in the Middle East
diverged to an unusual degree on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia and
Egypt falling close to multi-year lows while other major Gulf
bourses edged up.

Riyadh’s benchmark rose in early trade but closed
1.8 percent lower at 5,558 points in extremely volatile trade.
It has important technical support at January’s low of 5,349

“The oscillation in trading activity points to bearish
technicals and to investors’ nerves – they are now worried about
rising geopolitical tensions,” said a Riyadh-based portfolio

Saudi Arabia confirmed late on Saturday that it would send
aircraft to NATO-member Turkey’s Incirlik air base as part of
the campaign against Islamic State militants.

Global oil prices surged as much as 12 percent on Friday
after a media report once again suggested OPEC might agree to
restrain production to reduce the world glut, while U.S. and
European shares rebounded.

But while the improved global environment supported other
Gulf markets, local traders in Saudi Arabia dumped small and
mid-cap stocks with the insurance sub-sector index, a
focus of short-term investors, dropping 5.3 percent.

Al Tayyar Travel tumbled 9.4 percent. The firm
said in a statement it had bought a 33.3 percent stake in online
shopping website Wadi.com for 125.6 million riyals ($33.5
million), and that it would finance the purchase from retained
earnings. Wadi.com said that in total, it raised $67 million in
the Middle East tech sector’s largest Series A funding.

Egypt’s index, which had plunged 4.1 percent on
Thursday, gave up early gains and retreated 1.0 percent to 5,754
points, 41 points away from a 27-month closing low hit on Jan.

Commercial International Bank fell 2.5 percent
after it slumped 7.1 percent on Thursday, when it posted
fourth-quarter net profit of 1.15 billion Egyptian pounds ($147
million), up 11 percent, but cut its planned dividend, saying it
wanted to boost its capital adequacy ratio.

“Loan growth in the fourth quarter came in weaker than
management’s expectations due to the shortage of FX currency,
which resulted in a drop in working capital lending to
companies,” said a note by Kuwait’s NBK Capital. The note added
that if this cycle continued, capital expenditure in Egypt would
probably be affected.


Markets in the UAE and Qatar, which are believed to have
stronger state finances than Saudi Arabia and much more room
than Egypt to keep their economies growing with fiscal spending,
fared better.

Dubai’s index rose 1.0 percent to 3,011 points,
recovering some of its 2.6 percent loss on Thursday, though it
closed 31 points below its intra-day high.

Developer Emaar Properties added 1.7 percent but
DAMAC Properties fell 1.2 percent after trading up as
much as 2.5 percent.

Drake & Scull closed 1.2 percent higher after the
construction company posted a quarterly net profit of 14.7
million dirhams ($4 million); an analyst at SICO Bahrain had
forecast a net loss of 38.6 million dirhams. The stock rose as
much as 7.1 percent intra-day.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark edged up 0.1 percent in
modest volume with RAK Properties and Dana Gas
, two of the most heavily traded stocks, advancing 5.6
and 2.0 percent respectively. But blue chip National Bank of Abu
Dhabi fell 2.7 percent.

Doha’s index rose 1.2 percent, cutting its losses to
7.6 percent in 2016. Gulf International Services, the
oil drilling rig provider, was the most heavily traded stock; it
jumped 6.0 percent in heavy trade.



* The index fell 1.8 percent to 5,558 points.


* The index dropped 1.0 percent to 5,754 points.


* The index rose 1.0 percent to 3,011 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,075 points.


* The index added 1.2 percent to 9,601 points.


* The index edged down 0.01 percent to 5,131 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,365 points.


* The index was flat at 1,166 points.

(Editing by Andrew Torchia, Larry King)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt sink but UAE, Qatar climb – Reuters}