Middle East bourses face sell-off as investors prepare for Aramco offering
Most Middle Eastern markets dropped yesterday as investors appeared to have offloaded their positions to invest back into Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, which was oversubscribed by about twice the number of shares on offer.
Institutional investors have already put in 144.1 billion riyals worth of bids for Aramco’s planned IPO, which is more than double the capital it seeks to raise from institutions, financial advisers for the IPO said yesterday. They still have until close of business on Thursday to place bids.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index closed down 0.9 per cent at 7,833 points with Al Rajhi Bank slipping 1 per cent and Sabic shedding 1.9 per cent. Leejam Sports Company lost 1.1 per cent after the gym network operator proposed a lower dividend for the third quarter compared with the same period last year. The company reported strong third quarter results last month, with revenue increasing 13 per cent year-on-year to 238 million riyals, although net profit fell 9.2 per cent, mainly as a result of one-off costs, to 48.8m riyals.
Egypt’s blue-chip index dropped 1.7 per cent to 13,538 points as most of its members traded lower. Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 1 per cent and El Sewedy Electric declined 4.7 per cent. Local and Arab foreign investors were net sellers of Egyptian shares, according to stock exchange data.
However, Kuwait’s index closed up 0.4 per cent at 6,662 points, buoyed by gains in banking shares. National Bank of Kuwait edged up 0.1 per cent. Kuwait Finance House added a further 0.8 per cent to its previous session’s gain following Bahrain central bank’s approval of its planned acquisition of Ahli United Bank.
The Bahrain market was up 0.3 per cent to 1,538 points. Aluminium Bahrain published a statement issued at its board meeting on Sunday which said its Line 6 expansion project was now fully on stream, and that it expected production for 2019 to top 1.35 million tonnes as a result.
“With Line 6 fully on stream, we are now actively seeking to expand our products’ portfolio and increase our sales with a major emphasis on the US market,” said chairman Sheikh Daij bin Salman.
The Oman market closed flat at 4,075 points. Dubai and Abu
SHEIKH DAIJ BIN SALMAN Aluminium Bahrain chairman
Dhabi stock markets remain closed a for three-day public holiday and will resume trading tomorrow.
Asian stocks had finished Monday’s trading session largely thanka to stronger economic data emerging from China. The monthly purchasing managers’ index, which tracks activity in the country’s private sector, rose to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in the previous month, marking the fastest expansion since December 2016. A reading above 50 indicates an economy in expansion, whereas a score below 50 indicates contraction.
The Hang Seng index closed up 0.4 per cent at 26,444.72, while the China Enterprises Index rose 0.6 per cent to 10,363.91. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index closed 1.01 per cent higher.
We are now actively seeking to expand our products’ portfolio with a major emphasis on the US market
Egypt’s blue-chip exchange dipped, with Commercial International Bank and El Sewedy Electric among shares closing lower