Most Gulf bourses inch up, Oman hit by poor H1 earnings

Most Gulf stock markets traded higher early on Sunday in line with a strong trend for global equities, though Qatar pulled back after last week’s strong rebound and weak corporate earnings hurt Oman.

The Saudi index climbed 0.5 percent in the first half-hour in a broad rally, with advancing stocks outnumbering decliners by 124 to 20. Banque Saudi Fransi added 2.6 percent.

Dubai’s index gained 0.3 percent as Union Properties, the most heavily traded stock, rose 0.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi edged up 0.2 percent as Dana Gas climbed 1.5 percent; in a statement, the company described recent decisions by London’s High Court, which had been previously reported by Reuters, as favourable for its effort to restructure $700 million of outstanding sukuk.

Ajman Bank gained 2.6 percent despite reporting a moderate fall in second-quarter net profit; operating income actually rose slightly.

Qatar’s index fell back 1.1 percent with Qatar National Bank, the biggest lender, losing 1.4 percent. Last week, the index rebounded strongly as it became clear that the economic impact of sanctions imposed by neighbouring Arab states on Qatar was not as damaging as some had feared.

Oman dropped 0.5 percent as a string of weak earnings showed the strain that low oil prices and government austerity measures have placed on the economy.

Raysut Cement slipped 0.8 percent after reporting that first-half net profit shrank by nearly two-thirds from a year earlier, with turnover also dropping.

Oman Telecommunications sank 3.3 percent after reporting a 39 percent fall in first-half profit, with revenue stagnant.

Bank Dhofar lost 3.2 percent after first-half consolidated net profit shrank 13 percent, and National Gas plunged its daily 10 percent limit in very thin trade after it said first-half profit more than halved.

Source: Reuters