Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Bank­ing shares boosted Saudi Ara­bia’s stock mar­ket yes­ter­day while the ma­jor­ity of other Gulf mar­kets sagged on unin­spir­ing quar­terly re­sults. Egypt re­cov­ered sightly, but in­vestors re­main anx­ious over dol­lar short­age woes. The Saudi stock mar­ket in­dex gained 1.5 per­cent, its fifth con­sec­u­tive ses­sion of gains as all 12 of the listed lenders ad­vanced. Bank Al­jazira was the top per­former amongst its peers, jump­ing 6.5 per­cent. Na­tional Com­mer­cial Bank, the sec­ond largest by mar­ket value, gained 4.6 per­cent.

The bank­ing sec­tor has been the back­bone of the stock mar­ket’s re­cov­ery since the king­dom suc­cess­fully con­ducted the largest emerg­ing mar­ket in­ter­na­tional bond sale last week. “The sec­tor’s third-quar­ter earn­ings were gen­er­ally weak but also broadly in line with ex­pec­ta­tions, but the bond sale cou­pled with more sta­ble oil prices are giv­ing in­vestors the nec­es­sary jolt to re­turn to mar­kets,” said Muhammed Shab­bir, an in­de­pen­dent in­vest­ment ad­viser.

Shab­bir added that trad­ing vol­umes have to con­tinue ris­ing for the rally to sus­tain. The petro­chem­i­cal sub-in­dex also firmed as Brent crude fu­tures held over $51.50 a bar­rel. Saudi Ba­sic In­dus­tries rose 1.5 per­cent.

In Abu Dhabi, the in­dex lost 0.6 per­cent as Abu Dhabi Is­lamic Bank (ADIB) fell 0.5 per­cent af­ter the lender re­ported nearly flat thirdquar­ter net profit on Mon­day. Profit came in at 508.9 mil­lion dirhams ($139 mil­lion), up 1.1 per­cent from a year ago; EFG Her­mes had fore­cast 494.5 mil­lion dirhams.

ADIB booked credit pro­vi­sions and im­pair­ment charges to­talling 267.7 mil­lion dirhams in the third quar­ter, com­pared to 193.0 mil­lion dirhams in the year-ago pe­riod.

Peer First Gulf Bank, which is due to an­nounce earn­ings to­day, dropped 3.2 per­cent, its fourth ses­sion of de­clines. In Dubai, the main stock in­dex fell 0.7 per­cent, hit by a 3.0-per­cent fall for Mashre­qbank, which had re­ported a de­cline in net profit ear­lier this week. Dubai Is­lamic Bank fell 0.3 per­cent, af­ter reporting a 9.9 per­cent de­cline in net profit on Mon­day. Profit-tak­ing on re­cent price gains dragged amuse­ment park builder DXB En­ter­tain­ments 1.8 per­cent lower. Its shares have ac­tively trad­ing this month ahead of the open­ing of its theme parks on Oct. 31. In Doha, the in­dex of the 20 most valu­able shares closed down 0.02 per­cent in thin trade with losers out­num­ber­ing gainers 13-to-5. Com­modi­ties pro­ducer In­dus­tries Qatar , ex­tended its losses for a sec­ond day and fell 0.1 per­cent. On Mon­day the com­pany re­ported a 28.9 per­cent drop in third-quar­ter net in­come. Qatar In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Bank closed flat af­ter reporting a 2.2 per­cent rise in third-quar­ter net profit to 223.3 mil­lion riyals ($61.3 mil­lion); QNB Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices had fore­cast 221.8 mil­lion riyals.

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