(Changes headline to reflect Sunday's trading activity)
DUBAI, April 2 Stock markets in the Gulf moved
sideways in thin volumes early 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.
Dubai's index was down 0.2 percent in thin trade
with the majority of trade focused on second the third tier
stocks. GFH Financial Group was down 1.2 percent.
But number of advancing shares outnumbered declining ones 14
to 11. Islamic Arab Insurance was up 3.6 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.4 percent, buoyed by
a 4.4 percent jump in shares of oil explorer and power supplier
Abu Dhabi National Energy. Shares of the company are
still down 7.6 percent since the start of the year.
On Thursday TAQA had 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.
Shares of First Abu Dhabi Bank - the new name of
the newly merged National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank
- were up 2.0 percent in their first 90 minutes of trade as a
new entity. Shares of First Gulf Bank have been delisted.
In Saudi Arabia, the share index was up 0.2 percent
in the first 45 minutes of trade as most petrochemical producers
rose. Petro Rabigh was up 1.2 percent.
Saudi Industrial Investment Group, however, was
down 1.0 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 the second quarter
Shares of Saudi real-estate developer Jabal Omar
rose 1.5 percent after the company said that one of its Mecca
hotels started operations.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Saeed Azhar)