Mideast stocks: Emaar Malls, Aramex boost Dubai, MSCI changes roil Egypt

Reuters , Tuesday 13 Feb 2018

Stock market in Dubai, UAE Reuters
Strong earnings by Emaar Malls and Aramex boosted Dubai’s stock market on Tuesday but most major Middle Eastern bourses were soft, with changes by MSCI to its equity indexes affecting the Egyptian market.
The Dubai index added 0.8 percent as Emaar Malls , the emirate’s flagship mall operator, rose 3.6 percent to 2.33 dirhams, although it came off the day’s high after failing a test of technical resistance on the January peaks of 2.38 dirhams.
It reported a 27 percent gain in fourth-quarter net profit to 574 million dirhams ($156 million). SICO Bahrain had forecast 499 million dirhams.
Courier Aramex, which has been trading near one-year lows, jumped 7.3 percent after it reported a 25 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 165 million dirhams, beating SICO Bahrain’s estimate of 115 million dirhams. For the full year, profit increased only 2 percent.
The Saudi index fell 0.2 percent although Riyad Bank gained 0.7 percent after reporting a leap in quarterly profit to 974 million riyals from 293 million riyals a year ago. It cited lower impairment charges for credit losses; analysts polled by Reuters had on average predicted a profit of 732 million riyals.
Saudi Investment Bank fell 1.3 percent after MSCI said it would remove the stock from the MSCI Saudi Arabia index at the end of this month.
In Egypt, the index dropped 1.1 percent as the biggest bank, Commercial International Bank, fell 3.4 percent to 73.00 pounds.
Egyptian interest rates look set to fall as inflation eases. In a report this week, AlphaMena kept an “add” rating on the stock with a six-month target of 88.8 pounds, but said the bank would suffer from an interest rate cut since the fixed interest nature of its deposits would hurt profit margins.
Egyptian tobacco company Eastern Co climbed 3.2 percent while investment bank EFG Hermes dropped 5.5 percent.
MSCI said it had decided to add Eastern Co to its MSCI Egypt global standard index, replacing EFG Hermes, which moves to its small cap index.
El Sewedy Electric fell 2.0 percent; it will be deleted from the small cap index. MSCI’s changes will take effect at the end of this month.
Qatar’s market was closed for a public holiday.
* Index fell 0.2 percent to 7,413 points.
* Index rose 0.8 percent to 3,342 points.
* Index slipped 0.2 percent to 4,600 points.
* Index dropped 1.1 percent to 14,730 points.
* Index fell 0.6 percent to 6,670 points.
* Index added 0.4 percent to 1,353 points.
* Index edged up 0.02 percent to 5,004 points.
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