Saudi stock market lifted by Q1 results, while real estate hurts Dubai index

Saudi Arabian stock market increased on Tuesday, lifted by a string of corporate gains announcements for the first quarter, while real estate shares weighed on the Dubai index.

Saudi Arabia’s index climbed 0.4 percent, with Riyad Bank gaining 3.2 percent to reach its highest in 13 years. The lender posted a 44.7 percent increase in its first quarter net profit.

Saudi British Bank rose 1.5 percent after the Capital Market Authority approved a request to increase its capital to 20.55 billion riyals ($5.48 billion) from 15 billion riyals.

The lender will issue 554.8 million shares to Alawwal Bank as part of a merger deal. Alawwal Bank was up 2.3 percent. Last month, the companies received regulatory approval to proceed with a merger.

Dubai’s main index slid 0.5 percent as its largest listed developer Emaar Properties fell 2.6 percent and its unit Emaar Malls lost 1.1 percent.

But Dubai Islamic Bank added 1 percent after posting a rise in its first quarter net profit. The sharia-compliant lender also received approval from its board to explore the possible acquisition of unlisted Noor Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) rising 0.6 percent.

The lender has risen in the last few sessions after it obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) rose 0.9 percent.

On Sunday, its chief executive Alaa Eraiqat was appointed chairman of Al Hilal Bank, with which ADCB is expected to merge, along with Union National Bank, in the first half of 2019.

Qatar’s blue-chip index was down 0.2 percent as heavyweight Industries Qatar declined 2.8 percent.

The petrochemical firm’s first quarter net profit almost halved, pressured by weak demand for its products and constraints on pricing.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

Source: Reuters