Most major Gulf stocks in red; Egypt extends gains

Reuters , Thursday 6 Feb 2020

File Photo: Traders work at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Most major Gulf markets were subdued onThursday as disappointing results weighed on their banking shares, while Egypt's blue-chip index extended gains for a thirdstraight session.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index lost 0.5% with Banque Saudi Fransi the biggest drag. The lender plunged 5.3% after it missed full-year profit estimates.

The bank recorded annual profit of 3.12 billion riyals ($831.69 million), up from 1.4 billion riyals a year ago. But, the figure was lower than an average analyst estimate of 3.35
billion riyals, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

State-owned Saudi Aramco traded 0.7% lower at 33.4 riyals ($8.90), reaching its lowest since it started trading on Dec. 11.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.9% as most of its stocks rose. Tobacco monopoly Eastern Company advanced 3.5% and EFG Hermes was up 2.6%.

Stock exchange data showed that foreign investors were net-buyers of Egyptian stocks. In Qatar, the index retreated 0.9%, hitting its lowest since December.

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, decreased 1.4% and United Development Company (UDC) slumped 10%.

The latter saw its biggest intraday fall since January 2016, after reporting a sharp fall in its annual profit and slashing its 2019 dividend to 5 dirhams from one riyal per share a year earlier.

Dubai's main share index slipped 0.1% with its largest lender Emirates NBD dropping 1.1% and Dubai Islamic Bank was down 0.2%.

National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) was down 0.5%. The cooling solutions provider, commenting on potential acquisition of assets from Emaar Properties, said it was exploring acquisition opportunities in the region.

Emaar Properties closed up 0.8%. The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1% as telecoms firm Etisalat added 0.6% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was up 1.1%.

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