Emirates NBD props up Dubai; most Gulf stocks fall

Major Gulf stock markets were mostly lower early on Sunday, with financial stocks among the biggest losers, but Dubai was buoyed by gains in Emirates NBD.

The Dubai index rose 0.6 percent as Emirates NBD jumped 5.1 percent, extending gains for a second consecutive day.

On Wednesday, the emirate’s largest lender confirmed the sale of 31 million shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds ($205 million).

Union Properties edged up 0.3 percent. It reported third-quarter losses but its losses quarter on quarter narrowed.

However, the gains were capped by losses in Arabtec Holding , which dived 9.6 percent, its biggest fall since May.

The Dubai-listed contractor swung to a third-quarter loss of 437.4 million dirhams ($119.09 million), compared with a profit of 67.5 million dirhams a year ago.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index fell 0.4 percent with its top petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries and Saudi Telecom dropping 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

By contrast, Saudi Paper Manufacturing leapt 3.5 percent following an approval for a 52 million riyals ($13.87 million) grant.

Separately, Saudi Aramco set a price range for its listing that implies the oil giant is worth between $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion, below the $2 trillion the Saudi crown prince had targeted but still making it potentially the world’s biggest IPO.

Aramco said on Sunday it plans to sell 1.5 percent of its shares or about 3 billion shares, at an indicative price range of 30 riyals ($8.00) to 32 riyals – valuing the IPO at as much as 96 billion riyals ($25.60 billion) at the top end of the range.

The Abu Dhabi index dropped 0.9 percent driven down by a 1.5 percent fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.2 percent decline in Aldar Properties.

The property developer has been falling since November 12 after recording a drop in third-quarter profit.

Arqaam Capital had a net profit forecast of 435 million dirhams and EGF Hermes had projected 429 million dirhams, whereas the firm reported net profit of 387 million dirhams.

The Qatari index was down 0.2 percent with the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank shedding 0.6 percent and Mesaieed Petrochemical losing 1.5 percent.

Source: Reuters