Most of Gulf weak on Saudi probe, but Dubai edges up

Most Gulf stock markets were weak in early trade on Thursday because of concern about the impact of Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption investigation, but Dubai’s bourse edged up as real estate shares rebounded.

The Saudi stock index fell 0.7 percent in the first 35 minutes as decliners outnumbered advancers by 104 to 57. Alarmed by the probe, wealthy Saudi individual investors have been dumping stocks this week — some, fund managers say, possibly intending to move money out of the country.

But stocks in companies related to people detained in the probe regained some strength after steep losses earlier this week. Al Tayyar Travel, whose founder Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar has been arrested, rose 0.4 percent after plunging 22 percent in the previous three days.

Red Sea International, whose chairman Amr al-Dabbagh was detained, gained 0.3 percent. Kingdom Holding , the investment vehicle of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was also detained, fell only 0.4 percent.

Saudi Ceramic Co plunged 9.0 percent after reporting a third-quarter net loss of 39.2 million riyals ($10.5 million) versus a loss of 46.9 million riyals a year ago.

Dubai’s index gained 0.4 percent as real estate developers, which sank earlier this week on fears that the probe would hurt Saudi investment in Dubai property, rose. Emaar Properties was up 1.0 percent and DAMAC Properties added 0.9 percent.

Amusement park operator DXB Entertainments rose 1.4 percent after it said it would obtain a subordinated loan of 700 million dirhams ($191 million) from majority shareholder Meraas.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.1 percent but Abu Dhabi National Energy Co sank 6.2 percent in thin trade after reporting a third-quarter loss attributable to shareholders of 194 million dirhams ($52.9 million) versus a year-earlier loss of 524 million dirhams. In the second quarter, it had posted a tiny profit. Source: Reuters