x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Early surge continues as ADCB takes the day on bourse

CLOSING BELL: ADCB ended trading as the biggest winner on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange after the company reported profits in the fourth quarter after a loss in the same period last year - with video.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank surged to the close after the lender returned to profit last year, despite putting aside more than Dh1 billion as cover for the bank's losses from the restructuring of Dubai World.

Shares, listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, closed 5.2 per cent higher to Dh2.20 a share. The company reported net profits of Dh371m in the fourth quarter, up from a loss of Dh1.21bn, beating analyst expectations. Shares were up as much as 5 per cent during the first half of the trading session.

Levels of provisioning remained high at 3.28bn last year, decreasing 12 per cent from last year, including Dh1.05bn booked for the bank's exposure to the restructuring of the troubled conglomerate Dubai World.

"Given the bank's previous practice of high level of disclosure and transparency, even at the toughest times, leads us to believe that there would be no negative surprises once full financials are released, and that the current provisioning are a good indicator of the bank's asset quality," said Mahdi Mattar, head of research at CAPM Investments in Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index stayed flat at 2668.66, compared with the Dubai Financial Market General Index, which gained 0.2 per cent to 1627.97.

Aramex, the middle east's largest courier company, gained 1.8 per cent to Dh2.17, its highest in three months. The company said it plans to make two acquisitions this quarter and positive fourth quarter results, according to chief executive officer Fadi Ghandour.

Arabtec Holding, Dubai's largest contractor, lost 0.5 per cent to Dh1.80 a share.

Drake and Scull International, Dubai's second biggest contractor, gained 0.9 per cent to Dh1.12.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure remained unchanged at 6976.00. Bahrain's measure gained 0.4 per cent to 1460.67. Oman's index lost 0.5 per cent to 6943.10. Qatar's bourse was flat at 9020.24. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.2 per cent to 6710.10