* New NBAD, FGB combination to be named First Abu Dhabi Bank
* TAQA limit up, but turnover low
* Saudi's SIIG falls on facility maintenance
* Qatar, Egypt see lowest volumes in months
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, April 2 Stock markets in the Gulf moved
sideways in thin volumes on Sunday, while shares of the
newly-formed lender in Abu Dhabi, First Abu Dhabi Bank,
outperformed a day after the legal completion of the merger.
Shares of First Abu Dhabi Bank - the new name of
the newly merged National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank
- rose 1.5 percent. Shares of First Gulf Bank have been
Shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) soared
by the daily limit. A Dubai-based asset manager said turnover of
a little under 8 million dirhams ($2.2 million) paled in
comparison to the 36 million dirhams turnover from First Abu
Dhabi Bank, and suggested only a few investors drove the stock
On Thursday, TAQA reported a full-year loss of 18.55 billion
dirhams ($5.05 billion) for 2016. The net loss was largely
fuelled by a 16.9 billion dirham post-tax impairment and because
of lower oil prices.
Dubai's index edged up 0.3 percent, with 19 shares
advancing and 11 declining.
The majority of trade was focused on second and third tier
stocks, often traded by local day traders. Union Properties
, the most traded share, rose 2.8 percent and builder
Arabtec added 2.5 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, the share index handed back gains
made earlier in the day to edge down 0.2 percent. The number of
advancing and declining shares were even at 72.
Saudi Industrial Investment Group lost 3.6 percent
after the company said its Saudi Chevron Phillips project would
undergo 35 days of maintenance from April 1. The financial
impact will be reflected in second quarter results.
Other petrochemical producers' performances were mixed with
five declining and five closing higher. Two closed flat.
The petrochemical sector is expected to see modest growth in
earnings in the first quarter of the year, according to
analysts, although a divergence in performance among the listed
producers is expected.
Analysts at Alrjahi Capital said major polymer products
prices remained stable in the first quarter, rising by a
low-to-mid single digit percentage, but on the cost front
average feedstock prices have also moved sharply higher, which
leaves some producers with lower spreads - albeit from very high
levels - and puts downward pressure on bottom lines.
The largest producer, Saudi Basic Industries,
could see a slight deterioration in its petrochemical segment's
margins, said Alrajhi. SABIC closed flat on Sunday.
Shares of Saudi real-estate developer Jabal Omar
added 0.4 percent after the company said one of its Mecca hotels
had started operations.
DOHA, EGYPT VERY LOW VOLUME
In Doha, the index added 0.1 percent in the lowest
daily traded volume since late January as three-fifths of traded
blue-chips advanced. Telecommunications operator Ooredoo
was the top performer, adding 2.2 percent.
Egypt's index fell 0.6 percent in the lowest daily
volumes since the flotation of the currency on Nov. 3.
Twenty-two shares declined on Sunday while five advanced.
Orascom Telecom shares, often traded by local day
traders, fell 2.7 percent.
* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 6,990 points.
* The index added 0.3 percent to 3,491 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,450 points.
* The index inched up 0.1 percent to 10,398 points.
* The index fell 0.1 percent to 7,021 points.
* The index lost 0.6 percent to 12,912 points.
* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 5,538 points.
* The index fell 0.7 percent to 1,346 points.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
(Editing by Mark Potter)