DUBAI: Gulf stock markets were mixed early on Monday with Saudi Arabia under pressure from the kingdom’s anti-corruption probe and Dubai — where trade in GFH Financial was volatile — flat overall.
The Saudi index was 0.5 percent lower after 20 minutes of trade. Repeatedly since the start of last week, selling by individual investors spooked by the investigation has pushed the market lower during much of the day before buying by state-linked funds, which are apparently mounting a market support operation, cut losses towards the close.
The most heavily traded stock, real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, gained a further 2.1 percent after surging in the previous two days following strong quarterly earnings.
Alujain sank 6.0 percent in unusually heavy volume as it resumed trading after being suspended since August because of a delay in reporting earnings. It said third-quarter net profit fell to 36.1 million riyals ($9.6 million) from 36.8 million riyals.
In Dubai, the index was flat. GFH was 3.5 percent higher at 1.49 dirhams after swinging between 1.35 and 1.51 dirhams in heavy trade.
The company said it had exited real estate portfolios in Bahrain and the United States worth $180 million, would invest in the education sector, and planned to acquire a financial institution in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council by year-end.
Emaar Properties was up 0.9 percent at 7.95 dirhams, well off an early high of 8.05 dirhams, after posting a 32 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.51 billion dirhams ($411.2 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 1.36 billion dirhams.
Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas dropped 2.7 percent after reporting a leap in third-quarter net profit to 375 million dirhams from 47 million a year ago thanks to higher hydrocarbon prices.
A British High Court judge may issue a ruling as soon as this week on the company’s effort to avoid redeeming about $700 million of Islamic bonds that matured in October, on the grounds that the sukuk are no longer legally valid.