Banks hurt Saudi stocks; Dubai index continues to gain on Emaar

Saudi Arabia’s stock market dropped on Thursday, with Al Rajhi Bank, the country’s second largest lender by assets, weighing on the index, while Dubai’s index extended its series of gains on the back of top developer Emaar Properties.

In Saudi Arabia, the index slid 0.4 percent with Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank falling 2.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, fell 0.2 percent after it halted negotiations with Clariant to form a new high performance materials company from the combined assets of the two companies.

Saudi Automotive Services lost 1.7 percent. The firm posted a disappointing second-quarter profit which it blamed on increasing financing costs and a fall in fuel profit margin.

However, Sahara International Petrochemical jumped 2.8 percent after it reported flat Q2 profit at 210.9 million riyals ($56.2 million) beating EFG Hermes forecast of 188 million riyals.

In Dubai, the index continued its gain for a fourth day and went up 0.5 percent, in a boost mainly by its property stocks.

The country’s largest listed developer Emaar Properties traded up at 1 percent, stretching the gain for the fourth straight session. On Monday, the developer signed an agreement to help deliver an $11 billion project at the site of Beijing’s new mega airport.

Dubai Investments grew 2.2 percent while Emaar Development was up 1.3 percent.

Qatar’s index added 0.3 percent with market heavyweight Industries Qatar rising 1.5 percent, while Qatar Islamic Bank was up 1.1 percent, extending gains for a fourth consecutive day.

Last week, the lender reported first-half net profit of 1.42 billion riyals ($389.95 million) up from 1.32 billion riyals year ago.

Abu Dhabi, the index inched up 0.1 percent higher reflecting an eighth-day rise, helped by energy and real estate stocks.

Dana Gas added further 1.9 percent after it jumped 5.1 percent on Wednesday. Abu Dhabi National Energy increased 4.6 percent.

RAK Properties jumped 4 percent in its fourth consecutive day of gains after it slated board meeting to discuss financials.

Eshraq Investments extended its gain, rising 1 percent. The firm reported a drop in second-quarter profit, However, plans for doing away with a limit on foreign ownership of its shares, and for cross-listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange, outweighed poor earnings.

Source: Reuters

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