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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai outperforms in broad rally, most of Gulf sluggish
April 18, 2017 / 2:10 PM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai outperforms in broad rally, most of Gulf sluggish

* Dubai index bounces from near technical support

* Emaar rises as it says it’s on track to reopen hotel

* Ex-dividend Etisalat pulls down Abu Dhabi

* Q1 earnings drop hits Commercial Bank of Qatar

* Saudi’s Alawwal Bank falls, NCB rises after earnings

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Dubai’s stock market rose in a broad-based rally on Tuesday while other Gulf bourses were sluggish, with Saudi Arabian banks trading mixed after first-quarter earnings announcements.

The Dubai index rose 0.9 percent to 3,496 points, rebounding from near technical support on its March low of 3,435 points. Nine of the 10 most heavily traded stocks gained with GFH Financial, the most active, adding 2.7 percent.

Emaar Properties climbed 3.3 percent as an executive said its Address Downtown hotel in Dubai, which was damaged in a New Year’s Eve fire in 2015, was on track to reopen in the fourth quarter.

Abu Dhabi dropped 1.1 percent, however, because of a 2.0 percent fall by telecommunications firm Etisalat as it went ex-dividend. First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, fell back 1.8 percent after rising 2.8 percent on the previous day.

Qatar’s index was flat as Commercial Bank of Qatar lost 3.0 percent after reporting a 66.7 percent drop in first-quarter net profit to 91.2 million riyals ($25.1 million).

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast CBQ would make net profit attributable to equity holders, a slightly different profit measure, of 209.4 million riyals; the bank cited a sharp rise in provisions for non-performing loans. Saudi Arabia’s index slipped 1.0 percent. Some investors have been worried by the fact that many companies are reporting first-quarter earnings later than usual this year, prompting speculation that they could be preparing to announce negative surprises due to the kingdom’s economic slowdown.

However, analysts said they believed the delays were due to Saudi Arabia’s shift to IFRS accounting standards, now under way. To facilitate the shift, the securities regulator said last year that companies could report interim earnings as long as 30 days after the end of each period, rather than 15 days as previously.

Alawwal Bank fell 3.3 percent after reporting a quarterly profit of 324.0 million riyals ($86.4 million), down from 511.5 million riyals a year earlier. NCB Capital had projected 376 million riyals and EFG Hermes, 443 million riyals.

But National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender, gained 0.8 percent after reporting a 2.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 2.70 billion riyals; SICO Bahrain had forecast 2.39 billion riyals.

National Metal Manufacturing and Casting Co surged 1.8 percent after saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi National Automobiles Manufacturing to make automobile parts. It did not give details, but developing an auto industry is a goal of the Saudi government’s economic reform programme.

Egypt’s index rose 0.5 percent as the market reopened after a two-day public holiday, with Global Telecom jumping 4.1 percent.

TUESDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 1.0 percent to 6,942 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 0.9 percent to 3,496 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index dropped 1.1 percent to 4,494 points.

QATAR

* The index closed flat at 10,336 points.

KUWAIT

* The index fell 0.5 percent to 6,885 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.5 percent to 13,027 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.3 percent to 5,528 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index dropped 0.6 percent to 1,338 points.

Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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