x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Results send mixed messages to UAE bourses

Property earnings help two indexes finish week on lows.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets fell last week after mixed first-quarter results. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index moved 1.6 per cent lower to 2,777.12, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index moved 1.6 per cent lower to 1,739.88. Property companies figured prominently in the list of first-quarter results posted last week at both bourses.

Aldar Properties reported a net loss of Dh314.2 million, compared with a profit of Dh888.6m for the same period last year. Aldar's shares closed 8.9 per cent lower at Dh3.92 for the week. Saud Masud, an analyst at the Swiss bank UBS, reiterated a "sell" rating on the stock with a price target of Dh3, and said he remained bearish on all UAE developers under coverage. Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi's second-biggest property developer, reported a 3 per cent increase in net income to Dh129.7m for the first quarter, beating analyst estimates. Its shares dropped 7 per cent to Dh2.28 for the week.

In Dubai, Deyaar Development, posted a net loss of Dh100m after taking significant provisions. Without new sales and deliveries or cheaper financing, property developers will find it difficult to continue large-scale projects, Mr Masud said. Deyaar Development shares ended trading on Thursday with a 2.3 per cent decline to Dh0.42 for the week. Dubai's main measure rallied last Sunday on Emaar's first-quarter results, which showed net profit tripled to Dh760m from the first three months last year, according to a statement to the Dubai bourse on April 22.

The largest listed property developer in the UAE said it would not pay a dividend for last year, as it planned to secure its financial position in difficult times. Its shares moved 3.3 per cent lower to Dh3.91 for the week. Emirates NBD, the UAE's biggest bank by assets, reported a 12 per cent drop in net income to Dh1.11 billion for the first quarter, compared with the same period last year. Despite strong earnings from the bank, Emirates NBD's stock only managed to trade 100,000 shares in Dubai, said Ali Khan, the managing director of Arqaam Capital based in Dubai. "Sentiment continues to be weak," Mr Khan said.