Buyers returned to the Saudi Arabian stock market on Wednesday as blue chips attracted interest again after several days of profit-taking that followed FTSE Russell’s decision to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status.
The Saudi index was up 0.9 percent as the energy and banking sectors rose: PetroRabigh climbed 2.0 percent, Saudi Arabian Refineries jumped 3.0 percent and mining group Ma’aden gained 1.7 percent. Al Rajhi Bank added 1.0 percent.
Loss-making Saudi Arabian home furnishings maker Al Sorayai Trading surged 7.3 percent, rising in unusually heavy trade for a fourth straight day. The company said chief executive Waiel bin Saad al-Rashid had resigned for personal reasons, and a replacement would be announced later.
The Qatari index was 0.2 percent lower, dragged down by financials: Masraf al Rayan, Qatar’s biggest Islamic bank, was down 0.3 percent although the largest conventional bank, Qatar National Bank, edged up 0.5 percent.
QNB’s CEO told Reuters the bank aimed to increase its profit by 5-8 percent this year and loans and investments by 10-12 percent, helped by expansion into faster-growing southeast Asian markets.
Dubai’s index dropped 0.3 percent as Emaar Properties fell 0.5 percent, hitting a new two-year closing low, on concern about the sluggish outlook for the local real estate market. But builder Drake & Scull rebounded 1.2 percent.
In Kuwait, the market has been soft since authorities divided it into three as part of reforms designed to boost liquidity and attract more foreign money: the premier market, the main market and the auction market. The changes temporarily unsettled some investors and disrupted normal trading patterns, some fund managers said.
The index for the premier market, home to the largest and most liquid companies, fell for the fourth straight session and was down 0.8 percent. Egypt’s stock index edged up 0.1 percent despite heavy losses in the telecommunications sector, which fell for a second day in a row after Amsterdam-based Veon, which owns about 57 percent of Global Telecom, withdrew its offer to buy the company’s remaining shares because the offer had not obtained Egyptian regulatory approvals. Global Telecom fell 7.8 percent after plunging 16 percent, dragging down the whole sector including Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt, which fell 7.1 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.