x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

First Gulf Bank the early morning pace setter on bourse

MARKETS UPDATE: UAE markets extended a volatile week in the final day of trading but First Gulf Bank was one of a rare few to shrug off any investors concerns as the bank announced a healthy cash dividend payout.- with video.

First Gulf Bank, Abu Dhabi's third largest lender, shrugged off widespread profit-taking as it climbed the most in the capital.

The bank said fourth quarter profits rose 3 per cent compared to the year before and said it would pay out a cash dividend of 60 fils a share and 5 per cent in free shares to existing shareholders.

Its shares rose 8.48 at the open on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, and stood at Dh17.65 at 11am in Dubai.

Volatility continued to plague the UAE's major markets as the Dubai's main bourse, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index slipped nearly one per cent to 1,578.04 points and the ADX also edged 0.06 per cent lower to 2,641.22, reversing sharp gains made yesterday.

Drake & Scull International, the engineering and contracting company, slipped 1.9 per cent to Dh1.03 in Dubai even its board approved plans to target projects in Djibouti and Vietnam.


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Traders continued to focus on developments in Egypt as protestors and the government's military clashed yesterday.

Egypt's benchmark index, the EGX 30 Index remains closed for the sixth working day, but is expected to reopen on Monday.

Other indices fared better including Qatar's measure, which crept up 0.3 per cent to 8,770.46 points.

"Qatari investors usually boost the market. Last week when everyone else was down Qatar was the only one in the green," said Alfred Fayek, head of MENA equity sales at EFG Hermes.

"Even if foreign investors sell, you get Qatari investors buying," he said.