Most Gulf bourses fall with global trend, but Tadawul holds firm

Most Arabian Gulf stock markets rose early on Wednesday after drops in global bourses and oil prices, but banking shares continued to support Saudi Arabia.

In the nine days through Monday, the Saudi index added 10.1 per cent in response to the success of Riyadh’s international bond issue, which eased concern about tight liquidity in the banking system.

On Tuesday, the index pulled back slightly, but in the first half-hour of trading on Wednesday it edged up 0.2 per cent as the banking sector climbed 0.3 per cent, suggesting that positive sentiment because of the bond issue has not yet faded.

The biggest lender, National Commercial Bank, fell back 1.1 per cent, but the major Islamic lender Al Rajhi climbed 0.9 per cent.

The petrochemical sector edged down 0.1 per cent, and many gainers were second- or third-tier stocks favoured by local retail investors, such as air conditioner maker and retailer Shaker, which rose 3.4 per cent after its board approved a 0.75 riyal dividend for the first nine months of this year to shareholders registered this Thursday.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 per cent with Emaar properties losing 0.9 per cent, while a 2.4 per cent slide in the telecommunications operator Etisalat pulled Abu Dhabi’s index down 1.0 per cent.

Qatar’s index also dropped 1 per cent to 10,098 points as petrochemicals and metals blue chip Industries Qatar sagged 1.6 per cent.

Kuwait’s stock index fell 0.4 per cent, but Kuwait Finance House, the country’s biggest Islamic lender, rose 2.1 per cent after reporting a 20.5 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to 52.3 million dinars (Dh634.7m).

EFG Hermes had forecast the lender would make a quarterly net profit of 33.8m dinars while HSBC had estimated 64m dinars.

* Reuters

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