Edition:
India

Karina Dsouza

US STOCKS-Wall St rebounds on tech strength, eyes shift to earnings

01 Aug 2019

* Indexes up: Dow 1.01%, S&P 500 0.99%, Nasdaq 1.50% (Updates to early afternoon)

US STOCKS-Wall Street muted, awaits Fed policy statement

31 Jul 2019

* Dow flat, S&P 500 up 0.03%, Nasdaq up 0.12% (Updates to early afternoon)

Majestic Wine falls on Chairman exit, lack of details on sale of stores

13 Jun 2019

Shares in Majestic Wine fell on Thursday following the abrupt departure of its chairman and as a lack of details about the sale of its retail outlets and a dividend suspension spooked investors.

UPDATE 2-Majestic Wine falls on Chairman exit, lack of details on sale of stores

13 Jun 2019

* To resume deal talks in 2020 if deal doesn't close by summer

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slides on blue-chip weakness, Egypt hit by sell-off

20 May 2019

* Zahrat Al Waha , Leejam Sports fall after trading ex-dividend * U.S.-Iran tensions weigh on Saudi sentiment - analyst * SODIC posts standalone net loss in Q1 By Karina Dsouza May 20 Saudi Arabia's stock market slipped on Monday as investors cut positions in blue-chip stocks amid lingering uncertainty from regional tensions, while a wide sell-off pulled down Egypt's blue-chip share index. Saudi Arabia's index was down 0.7%, pressured by weakness in key banking and petrochemical shares. Al Rajhi Bank fell 0.7% and Saudi Basic Industries was off by 1.3%. Saudi Arabia's central bank said on Sunday it had fined 16 financial institutions, including Al Rajhi Bank, for violating principles of responsible finance. Zahrat Al Waha For Trading and Leejam Sports Co dropped 3.7% and 0.8% respectively. Shares of both the companies traded ex-dividend. The Saudi index has been trading choppy in the last week, gaining on MSCI's decision to include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging markets index but hurt by geopolitical tensions between Iran and the United States. "Under the current market scenario, Saudi stocks have been lower due to underperformance in real estate, hotel and tourism, and agriculture and food production sectors," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive of Sun Global Investments. "The country's proximity to the escalating tensions between Iran and U.S. has weighed down on sentiment, with similar scenarios across the region including the UAE," added Kapadia. Egypt's blue-chip index was down 1%, losing for a fourth straight day, with 23 of its 30 stocks sliding. El Sewedy Electric fell 3.1% and Commercial International Bank slid 0.6%. Sixth Of October Development and Investment fell 3.2% after the real estate developer reported a standalone net loss in its first-quarter compared to a profit a year earlier. Qatar's index was up 0.3% with Gulf International Services and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co rising 10% each. Abu Dhabi's index ended flat. Axa Green Crescent Insurance Co dropped 10% and Gulf Medical Projects Co dipped 3.3%. The latter posted a 28.3% fall in its net profit for the first quarter. The Dubai index edged 0.3% lower, pressured by its financial stocks. Commercial Bank of Dubai dropped 8.8% while Amlak Finance dropped 5.2%. The index has dipped 0.7% this year, with a 9.2% fall since the beginning of May amid low trading during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and rising geopolitical tensions. SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 0.7% at 8,469 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 4,733 points DUBAI The index slid 0.3% at 2,513 points QATAR The index added 0.3% to 9,899 points EGYPT The index fell 1% to 13,379 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.2% at 1,396 points OMAN The index dipped 0.4% at 3,845 points KUWAIT The index was flat at 6,007 points (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market edges higher in choppy trade after drone attacks

14 May 2019

* Saudi Arabia "can be tipped by smallest signs of a conflict" -analyst * Dubai snaps 7-day losing streak * Abu Dhabi sinks to worst day in more than 3 years * Aldar Properties posts higher Q1 development sales By Karina Dsouza and Davide Barbuscia May 14 Saudi Arabia's stock market was choppy on Tuesday after an announcement by the government on armed drones attacking oil pumping stations in Riyadh wiped out early gains. Saudi stocks nudged higher, then went into reverse and closed up just 0.1 percent. The index fell as much as 2.1% after Saudi Arabia said drones had struck oil pumping stations two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Shares rose 2% in early deals after falling nearly 3.6% on Monday. "With rising tensions between Iran and the U.S., and with significant naval build-up in the region, markets are sensitive to news and can be tipped by the smallest signs of a conflict," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive officer of Sun Global Investments. A Saudi-based banker said government funds were supporting local stocks to limit the downside. Last year sources told Reuters that when the market was hit in the aftermath of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund had indirectly supported the market using local institutions. Al Alamiya and Al Baha Investment and Development tumbled 9.8% and 8.8%, respectively, while heavyweights Riyad Bank slipped 2% and Saudi Telecom fell 2.2%. In Dubai, the index climbed 3.5% percent, breaking a seven-day losing streak thanks partly to a 5% gain in real estate firm Emaar Properties and its units Emaar Malls and Emaar Development . Emaar Malls was up 13.8%, while Emaar Development gained 8%. MSCI maintained its decision to keep the two real estate firms in the standard index. Aldar Properties, the largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, added 2.4% after it reported a rise in its first-quarter development sales. Abu Dhabi's index fell 2.6%, in its worst day in more than three years. First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, dropped 8.6% after index provider MSCI decided against increasing FAB's foreign inclusion factor. "MSCI has surprisingly decided to maintain FAB's weight in the index, despite the recent foreign ownership limit increase," said Jaap Meijer, head of equity research, at Arqaam Capital. Despite FAB's increase to its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%, MSCI has chosen to remain conservative as there has been no information on the sale of stakes held by the ruling family, Meijer added. Egypt's blue-chip index, was up 0.9% with Cairo For Investment and Real Estate Development added 3.6% after CI Capital started coverage on the stock with an 'overweight' rating, citing favorable industry dynamics. Kuwait's index dropped 1.3%, with 17 of 19 stocks in the index trading in negative territory. Integrated Holding slipped 5.5% after posting a fall in net profit for its first-quarter. SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.1% at 8,374 points ABU DHABI The index dropped 2.6% at 4,803 points DUBAI The index rose 3.5% at 2,613 points QATAR The index added 0.6% to 9,799 points EGYPT The index rose 0.8% to 14,024 points BAHRAIN The index was down 0.5 pct at 1,408 points OMAN The index dipped 0.3% at 3,828 points KUWAIT The index lost 1.3% at 5,999 points (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru Editing by Gareth Jones)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Global trade tensions, Ramadan dent appetite for Gulf stocks

08 May 2019

* 29 of 30 stocks in Egypt fall * Emaar Misr falls on lower Q1 results * Financials lift Kuwait index * Middle East Paper slides to 1-year low on Q1 results By Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan May 8 The Egyptian blue-chip index slid sharply to its worst day in six months on Wednesday, mirroring weak global sentiment, while Saudi Arabia's index fell, pressured by global tensions and investors retreating from markets during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Egypt's blue-chip index fell 2.5 percent, with 29 out of 30 stocks trading in the red. Egypt's largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 0.7 percent, while Egyptian Iron & Steel plunged 9.9 percent. Property developer Emaar Misr For Development fell 4.7 percent after reporting a 16.8 percent fall in its first-quarter net profit. Oil prices stabilised as markets remained relatively tight amid U.S. sanctions on crude exporters Iran and Venezuela, while global shares dipped to a near five-week low amid renewed trade tensions between U.S. and China. "The sell-off across the region is mainly due to deteriorating sentiment globally following Trump's China tariffs announcement. Most global equity markets witnessed broad-based sell-offs and our (Gulf) region was not spared," said Nadi Bargouti, head of asset management at Shuaa Capital. "Unfortunately, recent geopolitical developments are adding to investor anxiety and applying more pressure on regional markets," Bargouti added. The Saudi index was down 0.8 percent. The country's second-largest lender by assets, Al Rajhi Bank, lost 2 percent and Riyad Bank shed 1 percent. Middle East Paper Co fell 6.6 percent to its lowest in more than a year after reporting a 79.3 percent plunge in first-quarter net profit, citing a drop in selling prices. Takween Advanced Industries slid 2.6 percent as its first-quarter net loss widened. The Qatar index was down for the fourth straight day, falling 1.3 percent, with 18 of the 20 stocks declining. Heavyweights Industries Qatar and Commercial Bank fell 2.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Locally, Ramadan is a factor that underlines the sell-off across Gulf markets, when volumes slow down and with that any selling pressure gets aggravated, said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. "Note that investors have made decent returns this year and it is not surprising they are taking some money off the table," Bhandari added. Dubai's index was down 0.5 percent, with pressure from its real estate firms. DAMAC Properties and Emaar Properties fell 2.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. Amlak Finance lost 1.5 percent after it reported a loss for the first-quarter compared to a profit a year earlier. Abu Dhabi's index closed flat. Abu Dhabi National Hotels jumped 14.7 percent in light trade. Earlier this week, the company posted higher first-quarter operating revenue. Kuwait's index was the only major Gulf market in the positive territory, adding 0.9 percent with Zain Kuwait and National Industries Group gaining 2.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 0.8 pct at 8,900 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 5,124 points DUBAI The index slid 0.5 pct at 2,713 points QATAR The index lost 1.3 pct at 10,123 points EGYPT The index fell 2.5 pct to 14,027 points BAHRAIN The index dipped 0.1 pct at 1,441 points OMAN The index fell 0.7 pct at 3,875 points KUWAIT The index gained 0.9 pct at 6,365 points (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil, geopolitical tensions weigh on Saudi; most Gulf markets down

07 May 2019

* Alawwal Bank falls on lower Q1 results * Islamic Arab Insurance drags on Dubai index * Kuwait jumps ahead of MSCI decision * Lender ADCB weighs on Abu Dhabi By Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan May 7 Saudi Arabia's stock market fell on Tuesday for the fourth straight day, weakened by a combination of lower oil prices and geopolitical tension in the Middle East, while Egypt's blue-chip index was buoyed by its largest lender. The Saudi index was down 0.8 percent. The country's second-largest lender by assets Al Rajhi Bank lost 1.1 percent and National Commercial Bank shed 2.3 percent. Alawwal Bank eased 1.8 percent after reporting a fall in its first-quarter net profit due to higher costs. Oil prices fell as renewed doubts over U.S.-China trade talks stoked concerns over global growth, while the United States said on Sunday it was deploying the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to troubling "indications and warnings" from Iran. "A combination of lower oil prices, regional instability, U.S. sending carriers to the Gulf will have a negative effect on the regional markets and in particularly Saudi as it is the most looked at market currently," Rami Jamal, portfolio manager at Amwal in Doha said. Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1.3 percent, with its largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt adding 2.8 percent. The firm posted an increase in first-quarter net profit, aided by strong net interest margins and deposits. Eastern Co rose 1.4 percent after saying it would launch a new Black Massal product and expected Black Massal sales to rise by 50 percent from current levels. Kuwait's blue chip index added 1.9 percent with Zain Kuwait and National Bank of Kuwait gaining 2.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Last week, Zain Kuwait reported a 15 percent rise in first-quarter net profit helped by strong growth in Bahrain and Iraq. The index is on MSCI's watch list for a potential upgrade to emerging market status by mid-June. Kuwait's weight in the emerging market index could reach about 0.51 percent which will result in $2.5 billion of passive inflows, Jaap Meijer, head of equity research at Arqaam Capital said. The country has seen strong foreign interest over the past year on the back of its FTSE emerging market inclusion last year and the potential upcoming MSCI re-classification, Meijer added. The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.4 percent, with Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank shedding 3.7 percent after reporting first-quarter results. The bank, which formalised a merger with two other lenders last week, reported a 5 percent fall in first-quarter profit, hurt by lower interest income. Gulf Cement dropped 6.1 percent, while First Abu Dhabi Bank , the largest in the United Arab Emirates, dipped 0.3 percent. In Dubai, the index traded 0.3 percent lower, with Islamic Arab Insurance down 7.3 percent and the top loser after denying talks of a merger. Property firm Emaar Development fell 1.9 percent. The company reported a 8.3 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit. The Qatar index was down 0.4 percent, with Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding dropping 2.8 percent. Qatar National Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank slipped 1.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 0.8 pct to 8,969 points ABU DHABI The index dipped 0.4 pct to 5,124 points DUBAI The index was 0.3 pct lower at 2,726 points QATAR The index lost 0.4 pct to 10,251 points EGYPT The index rose 1.3 pct to 14,390 points BAHRAIN The index rose 0.3 pct to 1,442 points OMAN The index dipped 0.1 pct to 3,901 points KUWAIT The index gained 1.9 pct to 6,310 points (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi hit by profit-taking, financials drag major Gulf markets

06 May 2019

* Seera Group tumbles on lower Q1 net-profit * 24 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall * Egypt's El Sewedy, SODIC slide on trading ex-dividend * Dubai's RAK Properties drops after Q1 results By Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan May 6 Saudi Arabia's stock market fell on Monday to its lowest point in eight months, hurt by profit-taking in its banks, while most major Middle Eastern markets also slid sharply. The Saudi index was down 1.5 percent, weakened by financial and petrochemical stocks. Its biggest lender, National Commercial Bank, decreased 1.9 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi lost 4.3 percent. Oil prices tumbled after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would sharply raise tariffs on Chinese goods this week. Yanbu National Petrochemicals and Advanced Petrochemicals fell 2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. Travel operator Seera Group fell 5.2 percent after posting a 40 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit, citing competitive pricing and higher costs. "The interest rate is unlikely to rise, business volumes are likely to be low as we enter Ramadan period, and now weaker crude prices present an ideal gain booking opportunity," analyst Chiro Ghosh at SICO said in Bahrain. The deep sell-off in the financial sector was profit-taking by investors who had made reasonable gains, Ghosh added. Last week, Saudi local investors were net sellers of stocks, representing 85.8 percent of total selling activity, while foreign investors were net buyers, according to stock exchange data. The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 2.1 percent, with 24 of its 30 stocks declining. El Sewedy Electric plunged 8.1 percent and developer Sixth Of October Development And Investment Co (SODIC) dropped 4.4 percent as the stocks traded ex-dividend. Non-Arab foreign investors were the net buyers in Monday's session, while Arab investors were the net sellers, according to stock exchange data. Egyptian Chemical Industries (Kima) was down 6.7 percent. The company reported an 81.7 percent fall in net profit for the nine-month period, while Emaar Misr For Development dropped 6.8 percent after posting a fall in its first-quarter net profit. "Kima's results are weak, falling short of our estimates by a considerable margin, as the company continued to face hurdles to export its output to Sudan and Turkey," NAEEM Brokerage in a note. Qatar's blue-chip index slid 1.6 percent, pressured by financial stocks. Qatar Fuel and Qatar First Bank fell 3.9 percent and 3.8 percent, receptively. The index has risen only 0.2 percent year-to-date, making it one of the worst performing Gulf markets this year. Out of 10 fund managers polled, most said they would keep their investments in Qatar at the same level, while 40 percent said they would reduce them, according to a Reuters poll last week. The Abu Dhabi index slipped 1.5 percent, with Finance House and National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain falling 10 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. The latter reported a fall in its total income for the first-quarter. Property developer RAK Properties shed 1.8 percent after it reported an 84 percent slump in first-quarter net profit. In Dubai, the index traded 0.7 percent, with Dubai Investments sliding 1.5 percent after a 44 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit. Islamic insurers Dar Al Takaful and Islamic Arab Insurance fell 7.7 percent and 4.2 percent respectively. SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 1.5 pct at 9,043 points ABU DHABI The index was down 1.5 pct at 5,146 points DUBAI Index slid 0.7 pct at 2,733 points QATAR The index lost 1.6 pct to 10,297 points EGYPT The index fell 2.1 pct to 14,205 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.1 pct at 1,438 points OMAN The index fell 0.7 pct at 3,905 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.3 pct at 6,191 points (Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Weaker France and China demand weigh on InterContinental

03 May 2019

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc said fewer people checked into its hotels in the first quarter due to lower demand in China, South Korea and France.

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