Regional stocks moves sideways, as DXB stocks fall on losses
Middle Eastern stock markets generally moved sideways in quiet trade on Wednesday, outperforming other emerging markets, though Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments sank because of poor first-half earnings.
The Arabian Gulf has underperformed global emerging markets this year, hit by low oil prices and government austerity policies.
But this may have left the Gulf less vulnerable to a pull-back as MSCI's emerging market index dropped 0.9 per cent on Wednesday, partly because of tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Dubai's stock index edged down 0.1 per cent as DXBE fell 2.5 per cent after reporting a first-half net loss of Dh578 million. The company has not made a profit since it opened its first theme parks and hotels in October 2016.
The company said it was reorganising its business into three units: theme parks, family entertainment centres, and retail and hospitality.
It also announced an agreement with local developer Meraas to manage its portfolio of leisure and entertainment offerings including Hub Zero, Splash Pad and Roxy Cinemas.
Builder Arabtec fell 2.3 per cent, despite saying it swung to a net profit attributable to the parent of Dh39.8m in the three months to June 30 from a loss of Dh186.4m a year ago.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.7 per cent as Dana Gas fell 1.5 per cent.
Qatar's largest petrochemical producer, Industries Qatar, dropped 1.5 per cent after its second-quarter net profit shrank 47 per cent from a year earlier to 682 million Qatari riyals, missing analysts' average forecast of 787m riyals. The Doha index was down 0.7 per cent.
In Saudi Arabia, the index edged up 0.1 per cent as petrochemical maker PetroRabigh jumped 6.9 per cent in its heaviest trade since mid-May after reporting that second-quarter net profit more than tripled from a year earlier.
Ethylene producer National Petrochemical (Petrochem) rose 3.2 per cent. It reported a net profit of 132.3 million Saudi riyals, shrinking by about a third from a year ago, but attributed this to an unplanned shutdown of one of its plants in May and higher financing costs.
Petrochem's majority shareholder, Saudi Industrial Investment Group, lost 1.6 per cent after its quarterly net income fell 54 per cent.