Saudi stocks notch higher, rest of Gulf weighed down by bank shares

Advances in several shares focused on domestic demand supported Saudi Arabia’s stock market index during Tuesday’s early trade, while other Gulf bourses dropped, weighed down by the banking sector.

The Saudi stock market index notched up 0.4 percent after half an hour of trade, heading for its fifth consecutive session of gains.

Electronics and bookstore chain Jarir Marketing added 2.2 percent, building on Monday’s 3.2-percent gain after Chairman Muhammad Alagil told Reuters that the retail sector’s slump might be close to ending.

Apparel retail operator Fawaz Alhokair, which had reported a net profit slump last week, was up 0.9 percent. On Monday the company said its chief executive was resigning, but has not yet named a successor.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.2 percent as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) fell 0.3 percent after the lender reported nearly flat third-quarter net profit on Monday.

Profit came in at 508.9 million dirhams ($139 million), up 1.1 percent from a year ago; EFG Hermes had forecast 494.5 million dirhams.

ADIB booked credit provisions and impairment charges totalling 267.7 million dirhams in the third quarter, compared to 193.0 million dirhams in the year-ago period.

Peer First Gulf Bank, which is due to announce earnings on Wednesday, dropped 2.3 percent, heading for its fourth session of declines.

In Dubai, the main stock index edged down 0.1 percent, hit by a 6.7-percent fall for Mashreqbank, which had reported a decline in net profit earlier this week.

But Dubai Islamic Bank was up 0.6 percent, after reporting a 9.9 percent decline in net profit on Monday. Its chief executive said in a conference call the bank was “adequately capitalised… enough to meet our ambitions for 2017”.

In Doha, the index of the 20 most valuable shares lost 0.1 percent in thin trade with Qatar International Islamic Bank dipping 0.2 percent despite reporting a 2.2 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 223.3 million riyals ($61.3 million); QNB Financial Services had forecast 221.8 million riyals.

Oil drilling provider Gulf International Services, which has not yet reported earnings, underperformed the market, and was down 1.2 percent.

Source: Reuters

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