x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Weak earnings hit Dubai shares

Investors offload many property and financial services stocks

Share prices in Dubai turned in the largest loss among regional bourses in the first trading session of the week, as investors offloaded many property and financial services stocks after last week's earnings disappointments. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index dropped 0.9 per cent to 1,724.27. Emaar Properties declined 1.3 per cent to Dh3.86, while Deyaar Development slipped 3.1 per cent to 40 fils after reporting on Thursday that it swung to a first-quarter loss of Dh100 million from a profit of Dh54.5m a year earlier.

Shares of the Dubai bourse, traded as DFM, retreated 2.3 per cent after it announced that its net profit fell 8 per cent in the latest quarter to Dh53.6m. Union Properties was among the few bright spots, its shares rising 5.8 per cent to 45 fils, as it announced strong earnings after the bell. Overall trading activity remained lacklustre, as it has in recent weeks. "Volume has not even touched Dh100m, which just tells you how weak the liquidity is," said Hassan Awan, an associate at asset management division of The National Investors.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index eased 0.1 per cent yesterday to 2,773.86. Among the day's highlights, Aldar Properties closed down 3.6 per cent at Dh3.78, after the company reported losses following slow sales. "One thing that the market had not anticipated was a loss from Aldar and that is the reason why investors' reaction was intense," Mr Awan said. First Gulf Bank retreated 1.6 per cent. On the upside, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.9 per cent and Aabar Investments climbed 3.2 per cent higher.

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar shares ended down 0.4 per cent. Muscat and Kuwait benchmark indexes advanced 0.3 and 0.1 per cent, respectively. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index edged down 0.1 per cent. skhan@thenational.ae