Middle East share market indices end May at a loss

Middle East share market indices end May at a loss
Emirati investors look at monitors showing the prices of stocks at the Dubai Financial Market at Dubai World Trade Center.

By Celine Aswad

Published: Tue 31 May 2016, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 31 May 2016, 10:02 PM

Share market indices in the Middle East diverged on Tuesday, with Saudi Arabia's index outperforming peers as some positive news lifted shares, but all markets ended with losses for the month.

Dubai's index managed to recover earlier losses and edged up 0.2 per cent, but closed down 5.1 per cent for the month, its first monthly loss since January.

Air Arabia, the only listed airline in the Gulf, climbed 3.1 per cent while Emaar Properties, the largest listed real estate developer, rose 0.2 per cent.

Abu Dhabi's index slid 0.2 per cent in thin trade, taking its monthly losses to 6.5 per cent.

Banking shares, the largest sector by market value, were a mixed bag. The largest lender by market cap, First Gulf Bank lost 1.3 per cent while the second largest, National Bank of Abu Dhabi gained 2.5 per cent.

Etisalat added 0.6 per cent.

Riyadh's index rebounded 1.4 per cent, ending three sessions of declines, although volumes were the lowest since last October. The index was down 5.3 per cent in May, its worst monthly performance since the start of the year.

Market heavyweight Yanbu National Petrochemicals (Yansab), jumped 6.5 per cent after the company announced late on Monday that its proposed interim dividend was increased to 1.5 riyals per share, a 50 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Meanwhile Saudi Basic Industries climbed 2.5 per cent, after the company said it had signed an agreement with Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group to build a petrochemical complex in China.

Yamamah Steel, which was listed on the exchange this month, surged 6.6 per cent after the company said it will pay a cash dividend of 1.5 riyals per share. This prompted investors to buy shares in other shares, such as Saudi Cable, which climbed 4.5 per cent.

MSCI emerging market index constituent Qatar Gas Transport also gained, adding 3 per cent. But Doha's index slid 0.1 per cent.

In Cairo, the main index gained 0.4 per cent in this week's highest trading volumes, with both local and regional traders buying Egyptian shares, bourse data showed.

Oriental Weavers Carpet rose 1.1 per cent despite the company posting a 38 per cent drop in profits to 94.167 million Egyptian pounds ($10.60 million). - Reuters




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