MIDEAST STOCKS-FAB drags down Abu Dhabi; other markets steady
Abu Dhabi’s stock market fell sharply on Sunday, weighed down by the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank, while other Gulf markets were mostly flat. In Abu Dhabi, the index slid 1.5%, its biggest fall since August, as First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) retreated 2.4%, while telecoms firm Emirates Telecommunications was down 1.2%.
Among other stocks, Aldar Properties declined 2.7%, extending losses for a fourth straight session. The property developer reported on November 12 a near 8% drop in third-quarter profit Arqaam Capital had a net profit forecast of 435 million dirhams and EFG Hermes had projected 429 million dirhams, whereas the firm reported a net profit of 387 million dirhams.
In Saudi Arabia, the index reversed course to gain 0.1% driven by a 2.4% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.9% increase in Alinma Bank. Elsewhere, Saudi Paper Manufacturing advanced 2.9% following an approval for a 52 million riyals ($13.87 million) grant.
Separately, Saudi Aramco set a price range for its listing that implies the oil giant is worth between $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion, below the $2 trillion the Saudi crown prince had targeted but still making it potentially the world’s biggest IPO. Aramco said on Sunday it plans to sell 1.5% of its shares or about 3 billion shares, at an indicative price range of 30 riyals ($8.00) to 32 riyals – valuing the IPO at as much as 96 billion riyals ($25.60 billion) at the top end of the range.
Dubai’s index edged up 0.1%, led by a 4.7% leap in Emirates NBD. On Wednesday, the emirate’s largest lender confirmed the sale of 31 million shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds ($205 million). Union Properties rose 2% after reporting third-quarter losses that were narrower than in the previous quarter.
However, the gains were capped by losses in Arabtec Holding, which dived 9.6%, its biggest fall since May. The Dubai-listed contractor swung to a third-quarter loss of 437.4 million dirhams ($119.09 million), compared with a profit of 67.5 million dirhams a year ago.
The Qatari index was down 0.5% with the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank decreasing 1.1% and Industries Qatar losing 1%.
Outside of the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index edged up 0.1% with Commercial International Bank adding 0.7%. However, Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals closed down 6.4%, stretching its losing streak for a fifth session. On Tuesday, the firm reported a steep fall in its nine-month net profit.