DUBAI / Reuters
Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell in a broad-based decline on Sunday and political tensions helped to pull down Kuwait, while United Arab Emirates bourses rose.
The Saudi index closed 0.7 percent lower with decliners outnumbering advancers by 121 to 29. Atheeb Telecom , which jumped last week on news of a deal to sell part of its telecommunications tower network to Saudi Telecom , pulled back 3.9 percent.
Loss-making Nama Chemicals, which soared late last month on news of a recovery plan, was also hit by heavy profit-taking, sliding 6.7%.
In Kuwait, the index sank 2.3 percent as investors took profits after a 19 percent leap in January. Much selling was in real estate stocks which gained sharply during the bull run. Abyaar Real Estate dropped 6.5 percent.
Kuwaiti newspapers reported the cabinet might be reshuffled or resign early this week in an effort to avoid a vote of no-confidence in the minister of information and youth.
Ten Kuwaiti lawmakers filed a motion last week to hold a vote of no-confidence in the minister after questioning him over the country’s 15-month international sports ban – a sign of political tensions that could ultimately slow the government’s economic development plans. In Dubai the index rose 0.7 percent as Dubai Islamic Bank rebounded 3.9 percent after several days of falls.
Shuaa Capital added 1.9 percent. The company said its board would meet on Feb. 13 to approve annual earnings, followed by a news conference. Investors expect Shuaa to detail its strategy after Abu Dhabi Financial Group bought a 48.36 percent stake in it last
November. Abu Dhabi’s index rose 1.0 percent on the back of strong banks, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi gaining 2.1 percent.
Qatar edged up 0.3 percent though Industries Qatar tumbled 4.1 percent. The petrochemicals, metals and fertiliser producer posted 63 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to 230 million riyals ($63.2 million). The average forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters had been for 902.7 million riyals.
The company did not give a reason for the earnings miss, but recommended a cash dividend for 2016 of 4 riyals per share, less than the 5 riyals proposed for 2015.
Egypt’s index gained 0.6 percent as Global Telecom rose 2.5 percent to 7.38 Egyptian pounds, breaking above its narrow range of the past two weeks.