MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar leads Gulf markets higher, Abu Dhabi shares fall

By MD Manzer Hussain

Jan 25 (Reuters)Qatar’s stock market on Wednesday extended its winning streak to a fifth straight session to outperform the Gulf region on strong earnings, while Abu Dhabi stocks ended lower.

Qatar index .QSI rose 0.5% as financial and materials sectors gained.

Qatar’s Commercial Bank COMB.QA surged 10% on upbeat fiscal year earnings and higher dividend.

The couch reported a more than 22% rise in annual net profit to 2.81 bln riyal ($771.98 million), beating analyst expectations of a profit of 2.34 bln riyal. It also raised annual cash dividend by 56% to 0.25 riyals per share compared with 2021.

The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia added 0.1%, helped by gains in healthcare, financial and materials stocks with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services 4013.SE Surging 3% and Dallah Health 4004.SE rising 5.3%.

The oil giant Saudi Aramco 2222.SE ended its six-session rally, falling 0.3%, while the world’s largest Islamic bank by market capitalization Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE pink 0.4%.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets, steady on Wednesday after a decline in the previous session, with Brent crude LCOc1 up 7 cents, or 0.1%, at $86.06 a barrel by 1227 GMT after declining 2.3% in the previous session.

Abu Dhabi stocks .FTFADGI fell 0.4%, with the country’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB AD dropping 1.8% and International Holding IHC.AD sliding 0.2%.

UAE conglomerate IHC is considering bidding for Indian billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises’ ADEL.NS 200 billion rupee ($2.45 billion) follow-on sale of shares that began on Wednesday, the company’s spokesperson said.

Dubai’s Benchmark Index .DFMGI lost 0.4%, dragged down by fall in utilities, financial and real estate sectors with Dubai Electric DEWAA.DU falling 0.8%, and Emirates Central Cooling Systems EMPOWER.DU dropping 1.3% while real estate heavyweight Emaar properties EMAR.DU resolves 0.2%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue chip index .EGX30 climbed 2.1%, continuing its rally since last Wednesday.

“The Egyptian stock market continued to surge while international investors maintained their buying trend. The market could continue to see benefits from the improving sentiment,” said Fadi Reyad, chief market analyst at CAPEX.com MENA.

Egypt’s economy will grow 4.8% in the current fiscal year, faster than predicted by the government but will not meet its targets over the medium term, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

SAUDI ARABIA

.TASI rose 0.1% to 10,809

QATAR

.QSI rose 0.5% to 11,162

EGYPT

.EGX30 rose 2.1% to 16,791

BAHRAIN

.BAX fell 0.1% at 1,927

OMAN

.MSX30 lost 0.8% to 4,746

KUWAIT

.BKP fell 0.5% to 8,152

ABU DHABI

.FTFADGI resolves 0.4% to 10,177

DUBAI

.DFMGI fell 0.2% to 3,357

(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

((MdManzer.Hussain@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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