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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Gulf stocks mixed as Qatar gains

Amlak Finance surges on Damac deal

Amlak Finance shares led gains in Dubai early on Thursday. Sammy Dallal / The National
Amlak Finance shares led gains in Dubai early on Thursday. Sammy Dallal / The National

Arabian Gulf stock markets were mixed on Thursday. Qatari equities are still recovering from lows hit early this month because of its diplomatic rift with neighbouring Arab states.

The Qatari index closed up 0.4 per cent at 9,542.28. It closed at 9,924 points on June 4, just before the crisis erupted.

Doha Bank gained 1.9 per cent after reporting that first-half net profit rose to 716‍​ million Qatari riyals from 708m riyals year ago, as operating income gained 4.8 per cent.

The drilling rig provider Gulf International Services added 3.5 per cent and telecommunications provider Ooredoo rose 2.8 per cent.

The marine logistics firm Qatar Navigation pulled back 5.2 per cent. It was one of the first stocks to rebound after the crisis began, on hopes that it would profit as Qatar reorganised shipment routes for its imports, and it rose above its pre-crisis level. But the stock has stalled in the past couple of weeks as funds have returned to other Qatari stocks.

Non-Arab foreign investors have been net buyers of stocks, while Gulf investors have continued to cut holdings in Qatar.

In the UAE, Dubai's index edged down 0.2 per cent. The Sharia-compliant lender Amlak Finance soared 14.3 per cent and was the most heavily traded stock after the real estate developer Damac said it was partnering Amlak to sell second homes to customers.

Damac shares, meanwhile, fell 2 per cent, taking losses for the past three days to more than 12 per cent.

Shuaa Capital climbed 14.9 per cent in heavy trade, after saying it had executed an agreement to acquire Integrated Capital and Integrated Securities, pending final regulatory approvals.

Shares in Abu Dhabi led losses across the region, finishing 0.9 per cent lower at 4,552.49. First Abu Dhabi Bank and Etisalat acted as a drag on stocks on a quiet day of trading, finishing down 1.8 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.4 per cent as Saudi Basic Industries climbed 1 per cent to 99.89 Saudi riyals. Morgan Stanley raised the stock to overweight from equal-weight and lifted its price target to 122 riyals from 86 riyals.

Alinma Bank, the most heavily traded stock, stayed strong after Wednesday's better-than-expected quarterly earnings, adding a further 3.3 per cent.

*With Reuters

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