Banking shares took a hit on trading at the open after a combination of bad news from the sector was being digested by investors.
Shuaa Capital declined as much as 3.2 per cent at 10:10am, after the UAE investment bank announced that its loss widened in the fourth quarter. Shares of Shuaa were trading at Dh1.19 after the company disclosed a net loss of Dh186.7m in the fourth quarter from Dh154.3m in the year earlier period, according to a statement to the Dubai bourse.
The investment bank's chief financial officer, David Deards, who joined in March 2010 left the company as the results were released. “Our CFO is currently on unpaid leave and we are seeking to identify a replacement for his position. In the interim, his role has been taken up by other senior members of the firm,” Shuaa Capital said in a statement.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index declined 0.2 per cent to 1602.09. Banking stocks declined 0.2 per cent to 956.08. Provisions for bad loans hit a record high in December, according to central bank data posted on Monday. Provisioning rose 7.5 per cent for the month compared with November to reach Dh44.3 bn. Compared with December 2009, provisions were up more than 35 per cent.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.2 per cent 2687.61. Banking shares declined 0.8 per cent, led by National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Shares of the emirate's biggest lender lost 1.6 per cent to Dh11.80. First Gulf Bank, the emirate's third biggest lender lost 1.3 per cent to Dh18.05.
Follow our Business tweets - twitter.com/biznationaluae
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure remained unchanged at 6733.50. Bahrain's index lost 0.2 per cent to 1468.58. Oman's index gained 0.4 per cent to 6920.15. Qatar's index remained unchanged at 8868.30. The Saudi Tadawul was trading 0.4 per cent higher to 6616.41.