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Sun 10 May 2020 12:39 PM

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Dubai stocks fall in mixed trading, Kuwait retreats

Middle East investors are looking ahead to oil giant Saudi Aramco's earnings announcement on May 12

Dubai stocks fall in mixed trading, Kuwait retreats

Saudi Aramco still appears committed to its dividend policy for now, which is “encouraging,” according to Salih Yilmaz, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence in London. 

Stocks in Dubai dropped the most in a week amid mixed share trading across the Middle East and Gulf region.

The DFM General Index retreated more than 2% while the main gauge in Qatar advanced 1.2%. Kuwaiti stocks dropped for a second day, losing as much as 0.9%, after the country imposed a 20-day full curfew as it recorded 641 new Covid-19 cases Friday, its biggest daily increase.

Middle East investors are looking ahead to oil giant Saudi Aramco’s earnings announcement on May 12. The company still appears committed to its dividend policy for now, which is “encouraging,” according to Salih Yilmaz, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence in London. The stock advanced 1% as of 10:20 a.m. in Riyadh.

“Dividends are under the spotlight now after Shell cut its payout for the first time since World War II,” Yilmaz wrote in a note. “Before cutting dividends - which are expected to total $75 billion this year for Aramco - capital-spending revision is the most-efficient financial lever it’s likely to pull.”

In Dubai, Aramex falls as much as 5% after reporting net income for the first quarter of 67.4 million dirhams, -38% Y/y. CEO Bashar Obeid said that it is too soon to say with certainty how severe and lasting the impact of the pandemic will be on the business.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank heads to the first session of increase in nine, up 0.3%. Lender said it will “aggressively” cut costs after setting aside 1.88 billion dirhams ($512 million) in provisions to cover bad loans.

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