Abu Dhabi market leads broader gains


First Abu Dhabi Bank powers Abu Dhabi benchmark
First Abu Dhabi Bank powers Abu Dhabi benchmark

Dubai - Abu Dhabi marks best session in over 9 months

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

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Published: Mon 18 Jan 2021, 7:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 18 Jan 2021, 7:25 PM

Stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Monday, with the Abu Dhabi index marking its best session in more than nine months, led by the UAE’s top lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index gained nearly four per cent and the benchmark has risen in all but two sessions so far in the new year.

First Abu Dhabi Bank was the best performer on the benchmark, adding about eight per cent. Another bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, rose nearly five per cent.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Finance has announced a Dh6 billion ($1.63 billion) supply chain financing initiative to support a variety of sectors, as a key initiative in its commitment to support small and medium enterprises.

The first phase of this initiative is in partnership with the National Health Insurance Co and First Abu Dhabi Bank, aiming to provide liquidity to healthcare SMEs.

Dubai’s main share index advanced 1.2 per cent, led by a 1.5 per cent gain in developer Emaar Properties and a 0.9 per cent increase in the emirate’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.6 per cent, with Saudi Telecom rising 5.4 per cent to finish as the best performer.

Financial stocks also underpinned the gains, with Riyad Bank and Samba Financial Group tacking on 1.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

Separately, Saudi Basic Industries Corp has hired NCB Capital to advise on a potential listing of its speciality chemicals business, an offering that could raise several hundred million dollars, three sources told Reuters.

In Qatar, the main index finished little changed as a 1.3 per cent gain in Industries Qatar was offset by losses in Qatar Islamic Bank, which finished 1.8 per cent lower.

QIB reported a net profit of QR3.07 billion ($839.30 million) for the fiscal year 2020, up from QR3.06 billion a year earlier, but cut its 2020 dividend to QR0.40 per share from QR0.525 in 2019.

The Kuwait’s main index gained 0.3 per cent to 6,187 points while the Bahrain and Oman’s benchmark indexes up 0.1 per cent and 0.04 per cent, respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index ended the session little changed. Tobacco firm Eastern Co, which gained 0.7 per cent, was the best performer in the index.

— Reuters

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