Gulf loses steam as optimism over oil producer deal fades

Dubai Financial Market stays flat, while Arabtec and Gulf Finance House stocks see big gains
Gulf loses steam as optimism over oil producer deal fades
By Reuters
Sun 21 Feb 2016 06:07 PM

Most
Gulf stock markets edged down on Sunday after oil prices pulled back on Friday,
as optimism faded over a proposed deal among crude producers to cap output. A
rise in shares of Commercial International Bank buoyed Egypt's bourse.

Officials
in some oil producing nations are still talking up the deal. Russia's energy
minister said on Saturday consultations should be concluded by March 1, so
there could be further surges in oil and equities prices before that date.

However,
Brent crude pulled back 3.7 percent on Friday to $33.01 a barrel, showing
expectations among many traders that the deal - if it goes ahead - will do
little or nothing to reduce massive oil supplies already in the market.

The
Saudi stock index, which rose 3.9 percent last week, fell back 0.1 percent on
Sunday, though trading remained active. Saudi Basic Industries slipped 0.7
percent.

Some
second-tier stocks continued to attract eager buying by local retail investors,
however, with Middle East Paper surging its 10 percent daily limit and Al
Tayyar Travel climbing 4.0 percent.

The
Dubai stock index was almost flat. Real estate heavyweight Emaar Properties
lost 0.8 percent.

But
construction firm Arabtec surged 8.3 percent after it reported a net loss of
360 million dirhams ($98.02 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, compared
with a loss of 94.4 million dirhams a year earlier.

An
analyst at SICO Bahrain had forecast Arabtec would make a quarterly net loss of
123.6 million dirhams in the latest quarter. However, investors may have been
encouraged by the fact that the firm's loss narrowed sharply from a 944.8
million dirham shortfall in the third quarter of 2015.

GFH
Financial, the most heavily traded stock, surged 6.9 percent. It has been
rising sharply since Abu Dhabi Financial Group's capital markets arm,
Integrated Capital, said on Wednesday it had increased its stake in GFH to 10
percent. Previously its stake was 7.4 percent.

Qatar
fell 0.6 percent as petrochemicals and metals producer Industries Qatar slid
1.6 percent.

But
Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) rose 0.4 percent after posting a 12.1 percent
rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 226 million riyals ($62 million) -
although that was lower than the 271.1 million riyals which QNB Financial
Services had forecast.

Qatari
Investors Group, which plunged last week after it said it planned to delist
from the market, jumped its 10 percent daily limit after it said it would hold
an extraordinary shareholders meeting on March 6 to discuss the plan.

In
Kuwait, mobile communications operator Ooredoo Kuwait jumped 9.4 percent after
it raised its dividend for 2015 despite swinging to a fourth-quarter net loss.

Egypt's
stock index gained 1.1 percent as Commercial International Bank added 1.9
percent, while Egyptian Iron & Steel surged 10 percent. But total trading
volume in the market was modest.

Beltone
Financial also surged 10 percent. It has more than doubled in the past eight
trading days on expectations that its new owner, Orascom Telecom Media and
Technology , will build it into a financial powerhouse.

 

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