Saudi markets edge up as National Commercial Bank gains

Saudi markets increased on Wednesday as the gains at National Commercial Bank (NCB) boosted financial shares. However, these shares weighed down the Qatar market.

Saudi’s index rose 0.1 percent. The country’s biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, gained 0.7 percent after posting a 24 percent rise in second-quarter profit, helped by higher fee and commission income and lower expenses.

Saudi banks have benefited from higher interest rates and increased demand for loans to support housing and government-related projects.

Ataa Educational surged 10 percent on its first day of trading. The school network operator offered 12 million shares representing 30 percent of its share capital at a price of 29 riyals per share.

Maharah Human Resources, which went public earlier this year, jumped 6.8 percent after its second-quarter profit rose 25 percent.

Qatar’s index fell 0.8 percent, weighed down by a 1.4 percent drop in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar before its earnings report on Thursday. EFG Hermes forecast a 47 percent plunge in its second-quarter profit.

Qatar Insurance was down 4.4 percent after reporting 410 million riyals of first-half profit, including 266 million riyals for the first quarter. EFG Hermes had forecast a profit of 209 million riyals for the second quarter.

Abu Dhabi’s index was down 0.3 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country’s second biggest bank, dropped 0.9 percent for its third straight day of losses after reporting an 11 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Dubai’s index was up 0.2 percent. Emirates NBD gained 0.9 percent and Emaar Properties rose 0.7 percent. The developer has risen in recent sessions after signing a memorandum of understanding for an $11 billion project at Beijing’s new airport.

Source: Reuters

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