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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Air Arabia shares surge on otherwise mixed day for Gulf bourses

Airline's second quarter profit rose 19 per cent 

Shares in Air Arabia surged on positive second quarter results. Maja Hitji / EPA
Shares in Air Arabia surged on positive second quarter results. Maja Hitji / EPA

Stock markets in the Gulf were narrowly mixed in sluggish, early trade on Tuesday although Dubai's Air Arabia rose sharply on better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Air Arabia surged 6.5 per cent, accounting for over a third of the market's trading volume, after it reported a 19.2 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders to Dh150.7 million. EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast Dh95.9m and Dh96.3m.

Dubai's index edged up only 0.1 per cent, however, as falling stocks outnumbered gainers 14 to eight. Amlak Finance dropped 1.8 per cent despite reporting that it had swung to a small second-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss.

Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.1 per cent as Dana Gas , which is expected to report earnings on Thursday, sank 3.1 per cent.

In Saudi Arabia, the index gained 0.3 per cent as big food maker Savola added 3.8 per cent despite reporting quarterly profit sank to 229.3 million Saudi riyals from 253.5m riyals a year ago, as sales declined.

NCB Capital calculated that adjusting for a one-off gain of 62m riyals from the sale of its Hyper Panda store in Dubai, Savola's adjusted net income was 167m riyals, down 34.0 per cent. It said this was lower than consensus estimates of 189m riyals, though in line with NCB's 170m riyal forecast.

The profit slide appeared to be partly due to contracting retail margins, NCB added.

Najran Cement fell 1.6 per cent after reporting a quarterly loss of 4.2m riyals versus a year-earlier profit of 33.9m riyals.

Qatar's index dropped 0.2 per cent but Qatar Navigation (Milaha) gained 2.3 per cent after saying on Monday that it was setting up a warehousing and logistics operation at Sohar, on Oman's northern coast, because economic sanctions by other Gulf states had disrupted its use of Jebel Ali port in Dubai.

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