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Top lender boosts Saudi index; Qatar falls on broad-based losses

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014.

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April 27 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market ended higher on Wednesday, buoyed by a surge in Saudi National Bank, while the Qatari bourse was dragged down by broad-based selling.

The benchmark index (.TASI) advanced 1%, with the country’s largest lender Saudi National Bank (1180.SE) jumping 4.2% after it reported a 32.1% rise in first-quarter net profit.

Among other gainers, oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) concluded 2.3% higher.

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South Korea’s S-Oil Corp (010950.KS) – whose main shareholder is Aramco – said on Wednesday that its first-quarter profit doubled while it expected regional refining margins in the second quarter to stay firm, supported by seasonal demand and easing pandemic restrictions. read more

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) gained 0.6%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) rising 0.8%.

Investors’ confidence improved and the Dubai market could see additional price increases thanks to the strong fundamentals and the positive impulse brought by the latest initial public offerings, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss.

In Qatar, the index (.QSI) fell 1.1%, as almost all the stocks on the index were in negative territory as the bourse saw further price correction after hitting a record peak earlier this month.

A British judge on Tuesday denied a bid by Qatar Airways to reinstate a jet contract cancelled by Europe’s Airbus in the latest twist to a dramatic feud playing out in UK courts. read more

The Abu Dhabi index (.FTFADGI) eased 0.2%, hurt by a 1.5% drop in telecoms firm Etisalat (ETISALAT.AD).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) firmed 0.3%.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the government to set a program for the private sector’s participation in state-owned assets, with a target of $10 billion annually for four years, private television channel Extra News reported on Tuesday. read more

The market could see a boost as the country announced the possibility to list state and military owned companies, opening the way for larger private participation, according to Takieddine.

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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