Thursday, 13 August 2015 18:34
DUBAI: Most Middle East stock markets edged down on Thursday as a brief rebound in oil prices failed to improve investor sentiment and a series of disappointing earnings announcements dragged down bourses in the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Arabia’s main index slipped 0.3 percent, with most stocks giving up early gains and sliding into negative territory.
The kingdom’s biggest listed foodmaker, Savola Group , edged down 2.6 percent and National Commercial Bank, the largest Saudi Arabian lender, lost 0.6 percent.
Al Ahsa Development dropped 2.6 percent after saying it had been hit with a back tax claim of 82.8 million riyals ($ 22.1 million), which plans to appeal.
Dubai’s index fell 0.9 percent and Emaar Properties , the emirate’s largest listed developer, lost 1.8 percent, becoming the main drag on the benchmark.
Islamic mortgage lender Amlak Finance, in which Emaar is the biggest shareholder, also fell 1.8 percent after it reported an 87 percent drop in second-quarter net profit.
Abu Dhabi’s bourse lost 0.7 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) tumbled 4.3 percent after swinging to a net loss of 421 million dirhams ($ 114.7 million) in the second quarter.
Investment firm Waha Capital fell 2.4 percent, having posted a 85 percent drop in quarterly profit due to a large one-off gain a year earlier.
“I think that so far markets have been very resilient to the fall of oil prices,” said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investors in Abu Dhabi, adding that this has left room for further correction.
“I expect the market to be weak in the coming weeks.”
Qatar’s index rose 0.7 percent with most blue chips positive. Heavyweight petrochemicals and steel conglomerate Industries Qatar added 0.4 percent.
Egypt’s bourse edged down 0.4 percent with most stocks declining. Property developer Amer Group dropped 2.0 percent after posting a 98 percent drop in second-quarter profit.
But its competitor Palm Hills added 0.8 percent, having reported a four-fold increase in second-quarter earnings.