Most Gulf stocks fall; Emirates NBD leads Dubai higher

Most Gulf stocks were down in early trade on Thursday, while Dubai outperformed its regional peers due to a surge in Emirates NBD.

Dubai’s main index was up 1.2 percent, with Emirates NBD gaining 3.6 percent after the emirate’s largest lender confirmed the sale of 31 million shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds ($204.74 million).

Emaar Development rose 1.1 percent after it signed a sale and purchase agreement for units in tower 1 of the Creek Edge project.

Dubai’s amusement park operator DXB Entertainment, however, slid 2.4 percent after reporting a loss of 268.2 million dirhams ($73.02 million). Its accumulated losses stand at 5.02 billion dirhams.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index was down 0.2 percent with Al Rajhi Bank and the kingdom’s largest lender by assets National Commercial Bank losing 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Taiba Investments fell 1.8 percent, a day after its board proposed a marginally lower cash dividend for the first quarter of 2019.

The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.1 percent as telecoms operator Etisalat lost 0.2 percent, while Gulf Cement plunged 8 percent, its biggest fall since October.

The cement producer posted a net loss of 3.9 million dirhams, compared with a profit of 1.6 million dirhams a year ago.

Qatar’s main index was also down 0.1 percent, due to a 0.8 percent fall in Industries Qatar and a 1.2 percent drop in Mesaieed Petrochemicals.

However, the index’s fall was cushioned by gains in the financial sector. Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.6 percent, whereas Commercial Bank was up 0.9 percent.

Source: Reuters