Earnings reports dampen UAE shares trading

National Bank of Abu Dhabi yesterday reported a 3 per cent fall in third-quarter profits, warning that the bank faced “more difficult conditions” in the medium term amid lower oil prices.

The bank, the UAE’s largest lender by assets and the second-largest bank by market capitalisation, said that profits fell to Dh1.32 billion for the three months to the end of September, compared with Dh1.44bn during the same period last year.

The figure came in 7.5 per cent below an average of Bloomberg analyst estimates.

“It is important to recognise that we appear to be entering a ‘new normal’ environment of lower oil prices and more difficult market conditions over the medium- term,” the bank’s chief executive Alex Thursby said.

The picture was more positive for Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), with both reporting profits ahead of analyst estimates.

Profits at DIB, the UAE’s largest Islamic lender, rose 43.6 per cent to Dh972.1 million for the quarter.

CBD, meanwhile, reported a 2.8 per cent increase in nine-month profit to Dh915m.

Such increases did little to boost investor confidence in local equities.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell for the seventh time in the past eight days, ending down 0.8 per cent at 3,486.80.

The slide was even more pronounced in Abu Dhabi, with shares falling 1.5 per cent to 4,321.91.

Etisalat closed 1 per cent lower at Dh15, after the telecoms operator announced a 9 per cent fall in third-quarter earnings.

FGB ended down 3.8 per cent at Dh12.50, following the bank’s announcement of a 0.4 per cent dip in third-quarter profits on Tuesday.


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