DUBAI / Reuters
Middle Eastern stock markets generally moved sideways
in quiet trade on Wednesday, outperforming other emer-
ging markets, though Dubai theme park operator DXB
Entertainments sank because of poor first-half earnings.
The 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 percent on Wednesday, partly because of tensions between the United States and North Korea.
Dubai’s stock index edged down 0.1 percent as DXBE fell 2.5 percent after reporting a first-half net loss of 578 million dirhams ($157 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 percent, despite saying it swung to a net profit attributable to the parent of 39.8 million dirhams in the three months to June 30 from a loss of 186.4 million dirhams a year ago. In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.7 percent as Dana Gas fell 1.5 percent.
Qatar’s largest petrochemical producer, Industries Qatar , dropped 1.5 percent after its second-quarter net profit shrank 47 percent from a year earlier to 682 million riyals ($187 million), missing analysts’ average forecast of 787 million riyals. The Doha index was down 0.7 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, the index edged up 0.1 percent as petrochemical maker PetroRabigh jumped 6.9 percent in its heaviest trade since mid-May after reporting that second-quarter net profit more than tripled from a year earlier.