May 9, 2019 / 1:20 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Trade tensions, weak oil pressure most major Gulf markets

    * Saudi's Middle East Healthcare plunges on lower Q1 profit
    * Mall operator Arabian Centres to raise $747 mln in IPO
    * Egypt's Medinet Nasr gains on higher Q1 profit
    * Dubai's DP World slides after merger agreement 

    By Shakeel Ahmad
    May 9 (Reuters) - The Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets
dropped sharply on Thursday, affected by global trade tensions
and falling oil prices, which sent most Middle Eastern bourses
    The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.4 percent, declining for
the sixth straight session, with Abu Dhabi National Hotels
 plunging 7.4 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
(ADCB) sliding 5 percent.
    On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Hotels reported a 2.7 percent
drop in first-quarter profit, while ADCB has been falling since
it posted a 5 percent drop in first-quarter profit last week,
blaming lower interest income and higher cost of funds.

    Globally, weak international equity markets due to trade
tensions between the United States and China have also caused
oil prices to drop, which played a role in Thursday's decline of
UAE equities, Tariq Qaqish, managing director, asset management
division, Mena Corp Financial Services said.
    At the same time, a few companies published weaker
first-quarter results such as Taqa, which compounded
"fragile investors confidence", Qaqish added. 
    In Dubai, the index lost 1.5 percent, with the
emirate's biggest lender Emirates NBD dropping 2.5
percent, while  blue-chip developer Emaar Properties
fell 2.8 percent. 
    Deyaar Development traded 3.4 percent lower. It
said last week its first-quarter net profit more than halved.
    Dubai's Nasdaq-listed DP World, one of the world's
largest port operators, slid 4 percent. The firm agreed to buy
Canadian marine terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie
Group fund. 
    Saudi's index was down 0.5 percent, with Middle East
Healthcare plunging 9.6 percent after it reported a 83
percent slump in first-quarter profit and its board decided
against a dividend payout for 2018.
    Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development decreased 3.1
percent after reporting a drop in first-quarter profit due to
lower property sales.
    Separately, Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres is set to
raise as much as 2.8 billion riyals ($747 million) after pricing
its initial public offering at the bottom of its indicative
range, according to a company document.
    Qatar's index was down 1 percent with heavyweight
stocks Qatar National Bank and Industries Qatar
 falling 2.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
    Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.2 percent with El
Sewedy Electric jumping 7.4 percent, rebounding from recent
losses it suffered after going ex-dividend.
    Developer Medinet Nasr for Housing and Development
rose 5.5 percent. On Wednesday it reported a near 5 percent rise
in first-quarter profit. 
    ($1 = 3.7501 riyals)    
 SAUDI       The index         was down 0.5 pct at 8,857 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        fell 1.4 pct to 5,053 points
 DUBAI       The index          lost 1.5 pct to 2,673 points
 QATAR       The index        slid 1 pct to 10,027 points
 EGYPT       The index          was up 0.2 pct to 14,060 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        was down 0.3 pct at 1,436 points
 OMAN        The index        dipped 0.3 pct at 3,863 points
 KUWAIT      The index        lost 1 pct to 6,303 points
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

 (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark
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