x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

GCC stocks remain stable

GCC stocks remain generally flat, with a 0.5 per cent interest rate cut by Saudi Arabia failing to improve liquidity.

Kuwaiti traders follow the market's movement at the stock exchange in Kuwait City. The country joined the rest of the GCC in posting a slight fall.
Kuwaiti traders follow the market's movement at the stock exchange in Kuwait City. The country joined the rest of the GCC in posting a slight fall.

GCC stocks remained generally flat today, with a 0.5 per cent interest rate cut by Saudi Arabia failing to improve liquidity. Saudi's main market TASI ended down a slither, by 0.02 per cent, after the kingdom's central bank cut interest rates by 0.5 per cent in a bid to bolster credit flow. The move came before the Fed's expected decision to cut US interest rates. "The rate cut should give investors encouragement but there is no sign of that in the market right now," says Abdullah al-Aqeel, equity trader at Samba Financial Group.

Saudi shares are down more than 56 per cent this year. Qatar's main index closes higher for a seventh straight trading day, jumping 3.5 per cent, as institutional investors pile into Industries Qatar and banking shares. The Doha benchmark. QSI, which has advanced in all but one of the last 13 trading days, finished at 6,724 points, the highest close since Nov 10. "New and old local institutional funds have been entering the markets over the last 10 days," says Amro Motasim, chief trader at Ahli Bank. "Some of it is government and some is non-government."

The Qatar Investment Authority has been buying stakes in banking stocks ? one of the key beneficiaries of the recent rally. Industries Qatar jumped 5.28 per cent and Commercial Bank of Qatar 6.46 per cent. Markets in the United Arab Emirates end lower as uncertainty over the economic outlook and government measures to tackle the impact of the global financial crisis make investors cautious. Dubai's Emaar Properties dropped 3.01 per cent, weighing on the index which finished 1.21 per cent lower.

The benchmark has lost nearly 68 per cent since the beginning of the year. In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties was the biggest loser on the ADI benchmark, dropping 3.82 per cent. The index was overall quite stable and lost just 0.14 per cent. Kuwait's benchmark. KWSE closed 0.74 per cent down at 8,899 points. The influential mobile telecommunications company Zain declined 3.45 per cent. Shares in National Bank of Kuwait, the country's biggest lender by assets, closed unchanged after its CEO announced it will not be able to meet its 2008 profit target.

Oman's benchmark ended down 0.31 per cent at 5,974 points, closing lower for the fifth session in a row. Heavyweights National Bank of Oman and Raysut Cement Co both declined about 3 per cent. * Reuters