Gulf firm, Egypt slips after breaking technical support




Most Gulf stock markets rose on Wednesday on the back of strong global equity prices, while Egypt’s bourse continued to pull back on profit-taking, breaking technical support.
The Saudi index added 0.6 percent as real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, climbed 2.5 percent. Utility Saudi Electric rose 2.7 percent.
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co rose 1.1 percent despite saying its board had proposed a cash dividend of 1 riyal per share for the second half of 2016, down from 3 riyals a year earlier.
Dubai’s index fell 0.2 percent as builder Arabtec , the most heavily traded stock, closed 5.6 percent lower at 1.02 dirhams. However, the stock bounced from an early low of 0.97 dirham.
It had plunged below its 10 percent daily limit on the two previous days after the company reported a wider fourth-quarter loss and said its board was seeking shareholder approval for a 1.5 billion dirham rights issue.
Emaar Properties closed 0.3 percent higher, well off its intra-day high, after its fourth-quarter net profit came in at the high end of expectations. It reported a profit of 1.61 billion dirhams, up from 1.03 billion in the same period of 2015, while revenues were up 16 percent.
SICO Bahrain had forecast Emaar would make a quarterly profit of 1.32 billion dirhams while EFG Hermes had forecast 1.64 billion. But the profit was boosted by a write-back of a 301 million provision taken a year before for the costs of a fire at an Emaar hotel.
Dubai Financial Market, which has been strong in unusually high volume for the past few days, jumped 4.1 percent.
In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index climbed 0.5 percent because of strength in National Bank of Abu Dhabi , which rose 2.5 percent, and First Gulf Bank, which gained 2.3 percent. The two banks will merge on April 1.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank fell 0.8 percent after posting a 4.7-percent fall in fourth quarter profit, which was in line with a forecast by EFG Hermes.
The Egyptian index fell 0.4 percent to 12,448 points, confirming a break below technical support at its early February low of 12,578 points. This triggered a double top formed by the highs of January and February and pointing down to about 11,500 points.

Abu Dhabi suspends trading in TAQA, Ooredoo


The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange said on Wednesday it had temporarily suspended trading in shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy Co because the company had not yet released its annual financial statement.
The Abu Dhabi market also halted trading in shares of Qatar’s Ooredoo for the same reason, it said.
United Arab Emirates-listed companies are required to disclose their annual earnings within 45 days of the end of the fourth quarter.

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