Most Gulf stock markets fall but Saudi Arabia bucks trend

 07 Mar 2017 - 22:02


Dubai: Most Gulf stock markets fell yesterday as blue chip Emaar Properties pulled down Dubai and stocks going ex-dividend hit Qatar, although Saudi Arabia closed marginally higher.
Dubai’s index slipped 1.5 percent as Emaar lost 3.8 percent after it proposed a cash dividend of 15 percent for 2016, unchanged from the previous year despite a 28 percent rise in annual net profit. Loss-making construction firm Arabtec dropped 2.1 percent, partially erasing Monday’s 6.4 percent jump. But courier Aramex surged 2.7 percent.
Qatar’s index fell 1.9 percent to 10,417 points, falling below major technical support at around 10,500 points, where the February lows coincide with the December peaks.
Doha Bank fell by its 10 percent daily limit as it resumed trading after being suspended on Monday, and after shareholders approved a 20 percent capital increase through the issue of new shares. Qatar Electricity & Water lost 6 percent; both stocks went ex-dividend yesterday.
Saudi Arabia edged up 0.2 percent. Much activity in Riyadh focused on second or third tier stocks favoured by local retail investors, with Solidarity Takaful, an Islamic insurer, rising 6.5 percent in unusually heavy trade.
Atheeb Telecommunications gained 4.2 percent after the Capital Market Authority approved its proposal to reduce its capital, while Saudi German Hospital climbed 3.5 percent.
In Bahrain, Aluminium Bahrain rose 2.6 percent after its board recommended a cash dividend of 21 fils per share for 2016; earlier this month, the board had said it decided not to distribute a dividend.
Egypt’s index rose 0.4 percent. Investment bank EFG Hermes gained 1.2 percent. Alexandria Cement jumped 7.9 percent after it reported a consolidated net loss of 51m Egyptian pounds ($2.9m).