x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Regional markets trade lower on sagging profit reports

Most Gulf markets plumbed to milestone lows as declining second-quarter profits dragged down regional property firms.

DUBAI // Most Gulf markets plumbed to milestone lows as declining second-quarter profits dragged down regional property firms, banks slipped on disclosure worries and oil extended losses intraday. Dubai's index was the biggest loser, dropping 3 per cent to its lowest finish since May 17, while Oman, Abu Dhabi and Qatar all fell to 10-week lows. Financial stocks dragged Kuwait's index to a three-month low. Saudi Arabia also dipped, slipping 0.2 per cent, but was the only regional index not to retreat to May levels or lower. Egypt declined for a fourth trading day.

"Stocks could see a short-term rebound on a technical basis, but the market will continue its poor performance until we get some concrete news about bottom line growth to restore investor confidence," said Chamel Sahmy, Beltone Financial regional senior sales trader. Dubai's Deyaar fell 4.3 per cent after saying its second-quarter net profit fell by more than two-thirds. Rival Emaar Properties dropped 5.8 per cent, taking its losses to 29 per cent since it announced plans to merge with three units of Dubai Holding on June 28.

"There are question marks over real estate companies' second-quarter performance and we're not seeing any positive news coming into the market," said Mr Sahmy. *Reuters