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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Amlak helps Dubai index close up while Qatar is hurt again

Firm ends above its 200-day average for the first time since January

Amlak profits benefits from lower impairment costs, but fell on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Sammy Dallal / The National
Amlak profits benefits from lower impairment costs, but fell on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Sammy Dallal / The National

The Islamic finance firm Amlak helped to boost Dubai's stock market on Sunday while Qatar pulled back after events at the weekend failed to point to progress in resolving the diplomatic crisis between Doha and neighbouring states.

The Dubai index added 0.6 per cent as Amlak surged 3.6 per cent to Dh1.16, closing above its 200-day average for the first time since January, although it came far off its intra-day high of Dh1.24. It was the market's most active stock; on Thursday, Amlak had soared 14.3 per cent.

Traders attributed the rise to last week's announcement by real estate developer Damac that it was partnering with Amlak to sell second homes to customers. However, the partners gave no financial details, and many investors piled into the stock just because it had momentum. Damac rose 1.8 per cent on Sunday.

Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.4 per cent as Abu DhabiCommercial Bank dropped 1.2 per cent. It reported a 10.4 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit to Dh1.01 billion.

Saudi Arabia's index was almost flat in thin trade. Alinma Bank, the most active stock, rose strongly for a third straight day after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings last week; it added 3.1 per cent.

Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance surged 1.2 per cent after reporting second-quarter net profit more than doubled. Arab National Bank climbed 0.9 per cent after reporting a 4 per cent rise in quarterly profit.

But Yamamah Cement dropped 2.2 per cent after disclosing that second-quarter profit plunged to 12.2 million Saudi riyals from 116.3m riyals a year earlier; sales also fell sharply.

Markets in Egypt and Oman were closed for public holidays.

Qatar declined 0.5 per cent as exchange data showed non-Arab foreign investors continuing to buy stocks on a net basis while Arabian Gulf investors cut their holdings further.

Last week, the Qatari index rebounded to within 4 per cent of its close on June 4.

The banks which led last week's rally stalled on Sunday, with Qatar National Bank falling 1.3 per cent. Gulf Warehousing dropped 1.8 per cent after reporting a year-on-year rise of only 4 per cent in first-half net profit.