Commercial Bank leads Qatar shares higher, Saudi falls on profit-taking
Most stock exchanges in the Gulf region rose in early trade on Wednesday, tracking firm global equities as stability in oil prices on expectations of fuel demand recovery in the world’s top importer China boosted sentiment.
Crude prices – a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets – rebounded on Tuesday after falling 2.3% in the prior session.
Brent crude rose 34 cents, or 0.39%, to $86.47 per barrel by 0732 GMT.
Benchmark Qatari index advanced 0.7%, boosted by a 10% rise in Commercial Bank, its biggest intraday gain since mid-April 2021.
The Commercial bank reported more than 22% increase in full- year net profit, beating market estimates. It also hiked annual cash dividend by 56% to 0.25 riyal ($0.0666) per share from 2021.
Vodafone Qatar, which is not part of Qatari index, surged more than 5% as the telecom operator’s annual net profit grew more than 53% on account of jump in fan sim cards subcription during FIFA word cup.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index added 0.2%, extending gains to a second session, as Emirates Steel jumped 1.8% and UAE’s most valued listed firm International Holding Company added 0.1%.
Dubai’s main share index edged up 0.1% on a 0.9% gain in Islamic lender Dubai Islamic Bank on strong annual net profit.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index dropped 0.2% and was set to snap a four-session rally as investors booked profits.
Index heavyweight oil giant Saudi Aramco slipped 0.9% and Riyad Bank fell 0.6%.
An OPEC+ panel is likely to endorse the producer group’s current oil output policy when it meets next week, five OPEC+ sources said on Tuesday, as hopes of higher Chinese demand driving an oil price rally are balanced by worries over inflation and a global economic slowdown.
($1 = 3.7545 riyals)
(Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)