BEIRUT

Regional

UAE stocks rise on Q2 earnings; Barwa drags down Qatar

DUBAI: Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates rose Sunday on the back of some strong second-quarter earnings reports and expectations for more of them, while Qatar and Egypt pulled back in thin trade before long breaks for Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Dubai’s benchmark rose 1.9 percent as lenders Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD added 4.4 and 2.0 percent respectively.

Dubai Islamic Bank posted a 59.6 percent jump in second-quarter net profit Thursday. The bank made 667.5 million dirhams ($181.8 million) in the quarter, beating analysts’ forecast of 627.3 million dirhams.

UAE NBD also beat analysts’ estimates when it reported a 34.8 percent jump in quarterly profit.

Builder Arabtec closed up 1.3 percent after dropping as much as 6.5 percent early in the session on disappointing results. Arabtec earned 103 million dirhams in the second quarter, while analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 111 million dirhams.

The company did not give any further details of its post-Ismaik restructuring. But an increase in general and administrative expenses for the second quarter may reflect layoffs among senior managers which followed the abrupt resignation of chief executive Hasan Ismaik last month, said Sanyalak Manibhandu, manager of research at NBAD Securities.

Arabtec is expected to provide more information in an analyst call after the Eid holiday, which is expected to see UAE markets shut between Monday and Wednesday.

The rise in Arabtec shares “that we are seeing now is probably due to some market talk about who is buying the stock again,” Manibhandu said. Investors hope Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments, a major shareholder, will buy part of the 28.77 percent stake held by Ismaik.

Shares in Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, rose 1.9 percent. The company is expected to announce its quarterly results after the Eid break.

Abu Dhabi’s top listed developer Aldar Properties also jumped ahead of expected earnings. The stock rose 2.6 percent, helping the emirate’s benchmark add 1.1 percent.

Qatar’s benchmark slid 0.6 percent, largely because of Barwa Real Estate, which tumbled 6.8 percent.

The stock had plunged its 10 percent daily limit Thursday after the company posted a quarterly net loss of 42.9 million riyals ($11.8 million) compared to a profit of 40.6 million riyals in the year-earlier period.

Egypt’s bourse slipped 0.1 percent. Commercial International Bank was one of the main drags, pulling back 0.6 percent. The stock had jumped 4.4 percent Thursday after CIB’s second-quarter results came in ahead of analysts’ estimates.

Bahrain’s bourse edged down 0.4 percent. Bahrain Telecommunications Co. fell 1.6 percent after posting a 22.4 percent drop in second-quarter profit Sunday.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 28, 2014, on page 5.

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Summary

Dubai Islamic Bank posted a 59.6 percent jump in second-quarter net profit Thursday. The bank made 667.5 million dirhams ($181.8 million) in the quarter, beating analysts' forecast of 627.3 million dirhams.

UAE NBD also beat analysts' estimates when it reported a 34.8 percent jump in quarterly profit.

Arabtec earned 103 million dirhams in the second quarter, while analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 111 million dirhams.

The stock had plunged its 10 percent daily limit Thursday after the company posted a quarterly net loss of 42.9 million riyals ($11.8 million) compared to a profit of 40.6 million riyals in the year-earlier period.

Bahrain Telecommunications Co. fell 1.6 percent after posting a 22.4 percent drop in second-quarter profit Sunday.


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