Investors await quarterly earnings from bellwether Emaar Properties
Dubai's index edged higher, but trading
was lacklustre as investors await quarterly earnings from
bellwether Emaar Properties.
Emaar ended flat. The developer is forecast to a report a 6.8
percent rise in third-quarter profit, according to analysts
polled by Reuters.
"Locally, investors are waiting on Emaar," said Haissam
Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative
Emirates NBD climbed 1 percent and Dubai Financial
Market added 1.1 percent.
The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,747 points.
In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties climbed 2.8 percent
and Sorouh Real Estate added 1.7 percent.
Waha Capital rose 2.5 percent after reporting a
jump in quarterly profit.
The UAE capital's measure climbed 0.5 percent to 2,821
points, its highest close since April 25.
Industries Qatar hit a 24-week high,
tracking gains in regional rival Saudi Basic Industries Corp
(SABIC), while solid quarterly earnings also support
IQ climbed 2.9 percent to its highest finish since May 6. On
October 14, the firm reported a 28 percent increase in third
quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts on
higher-than-expected steel margins.
"Industries Qatar's earnings were good, but I don't think
today's move is about these - it is tracking gains in SABIC,"
said Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at
Doha-based investment company The First Investor.
SABIC was up 0.3 percent, taking its gains to 4.5 percent
since October 17.
Qatar's index climbed 0.6 percent to 7,774 points. It
is up 11.7 percent in 2010 to be the top performing Middle East
"Qatar has decoupled from the region in terms of earnings -
Qatar companies were expected to do well as the country's GDP
growth trickles down into sectors like banks, industrials and
services," said Pramberger.
"People are still worried about the global economy and so
many people would prefer to invest in lower risk countries -
Qatar is a much safer bet than Dubai, for example, for long-term
Qatar's economy is expected to grow 14 percent in 2010,
according to a September Reuters poll.
The Kuwait and Oman benchmarks
edged higher in subdued trade, with few catalyst to draw in
Kuwait banks were mixed. National Bank of Kuwait dropped 2.9 percent and Boubyan Bank fell 3.2 percent,
but Gulf Bank reversed initial losses to end 2 percent
Kuwait's index climbed 0.3 percent to 6,963 points, but
volumes slumped to a four-week low.
In Muscat, Oman Cement edged up 0.2 percent after
reporting its nine-month earnings.
"Oman Cement managed to sustain its sales volume on
quarterly basis," said Gunjan Gupta, head of research at Oman
Rival producer Raysut Cement climbed 1.1 percent to
1.261 rials. The firm is holding acquisition talks with several
companies and expects to reach an agreement within a month, its
chief financial officer said on Sunday.
"Raysut has already crossed the 50-day moving average and we
expect it to reach 1.280 rials," said Gupta.
Oman's measure rose 0.03 percent to 6,544 points.
Saudi Arabia's index edged higher to claw
back some of its October losses, but investors are seen looking
towards global markets for cues after local quarterly results
largely fail to excite.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 0.3
percent, hitting a four-month high and extending gains since it
reported a 46 percent rise in third-quarter profit, beating
Samba Financial Group fell 0.8 percent and Banque
Saudi Fransi dipped 2.4 percent. Bank sector
third-quarter profits have slumped, broadly missing estimates as
rising provisions bite.
"Apart from SABIC and Mobily, many Saudi companies,
especially banks and petrochemicals, have reported disappointing
figures," said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager
at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.
"Banks had higher provisions and no real growth in their
loan portfolio or even deposits, so the Saudi banking sector is
at something of a standstill."
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) climbed 0.5 percent. The
telecoms operator posted a better-than-expected 41-percent rise
in quarterly profits on Oct. 17, helped by a fall in the cost of
international networks and higher broadband revenues.
Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.02 percent to 6,288 points,
trimming its October losses to 1.7 percent.
"Saudi has been pretty stable, despite some disappointing
numbers and I don't expect there to be a correction -- we should
start to see some accumulation, but regionally we need a new
catalyst to break out to new highs and I think that will have
come from the global macro outlook," said Arabi. (Reuters)