Stock markets in the Gulf fell yesterday after oil prices pulled back and Dubai blue chip Emaar Properties dropped following the release of its first-quarter earnings.
Saudi Arabia’s index slipped 0.6% as petrochemical shares in particular were weak, with Saudi Basic Industries losing 1.2%.
Saudi Arabian Mining Co retreated 3% after jumping by its 10% daily limit on Sunday on news that the miner had reshuffled its board and appointed the chairman of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, as its own chairman as part of a government drive to develop the mining sector.
In Dubai, the index fell 1.8%. Emaar rose at the opening but closed 2.1% lower; it reported a 17% rise in first-quarter net profit to 1.21bn dirhams ($330mn). SICO Bahrain had forecast 1.22bn dirhams.
Dubai Investments, another stock commonly seen as a play on the Dubai economy, sank 5.1%. Dubai Financial Market slid 4% after reporting a 27% rise in first-quarter net profit on the back of an increase in trading activity.
But GFH Financial rose 0.9% after saying it had signed a preliminary letter of intent with Abu Dhabi’s Eshraq Properties, under which GFH might sell real estate assets to Eshraq in exchange for Eshraq shares. Eshraq dropped 1.2% and was Abu Dhabi’s most heavily traded stock.
Abu Dhabi’s index lost 0.8% as some banks continued falling after last week’s disappointing earnings in the sector.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) outperformed, rising early on and closing flat in unusually heavy trade, after sources told Reuters that TAQA was considering whether to sell its overseas oil and gas assets to another Abu Dhabi state-owned entity as it focuses on its core business of power generation and water production.
TAQA declined to comment.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index dropped 0.6% to 5,372 points; Oman’s index edged up 0.1% to 5,952 points, while Bahrain’s index rose 0.2% to 1,113 points.
Emaar rose at the opening but closed 2.1% lower yesterday; it has reported a 17% rise in first-quarter net profit to 1.21bn dirhams.