Petrochemical shares support Saudi bourse, Dubai’s gain limited

Big 5

A bounce in oil prices at the end of last week helped lift Sunday stock markets in the Gulf but second-quarter earnings from some of Dubai’s second-tier companies limited gains on that bourse.

Riyadh’s index added 1.0 percent as all 14 listed petrochemical shares advanced after Brent crude futures settled 2.0 percent higher at $46.97 per barrel on Friday after touching $47.05, their highest level in more than three weeks.

Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.5 percent in the first 10 minutes of trade.

The positive mood spilled into other sectors, with the food and agriculture sub-index adding 1.2 percent. Among its top performers was Savola Group, which gained 1.4 percent.

Blue-chip stocks Emaar Properties, which was up 1.1 percent, and Dubai Islamic Bank, which rose 0.7 percent, helped carry Dubai’s index up 0.3 percent.

But Shuaa Capital lost 1.2 percent after the investment firm said it made a second-quarter net loss of 50.8 million dirhams ($13.8 million), compared to a profit of 1.7 million dirhams a year earlier.

The loss was mainly due to provisions set as aside by Shuaa’s business of lending to smaller firms.

DAMAC Properties fell 1.3 percent after the developer reported a 37.4 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to 886.8 million dirhams ($241.4 million).

Arabtec was down 1.3 percent after it reported a second quarter loss of 186.4 million dirhams, an improvement from a year earlier but short of EFG Hermes’ forecast of a loss of 83.2 million.

Large-cap shares helped lead Qatar’s index up 0.4 percent, after the index eased off 9-month highs on Thursday. Commercial Bank rose 2.2 percent and Vodafone Qatar was up 1.8 percent.

Source: Reuters