Saudi stock market stabilizes after fall

Saudi investors monitor stock prices.

Saudi investors monitor stock prices.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market stabilized on Monday after a slide on the previous day in response to a downgrade of the Kingdom’s debt. Emaar Properties lifted Dubai’s market after reporting third-quarter earnings.

The Tadawul All-Share Index had dropped 1.1 percent on Sunday after Standard & Poor’s cut its rating of the Kingdom’s sovereign debt.

On Monday the impact of that news faded and the index closed 0.3 percent higher at 7,066 points, though it finished well off the day’s high of 7,118 points.

Saudi Printing and Packaging Co. surged 9.8 percent. It has been rising sharply in heavy trade since shortly after it reported earnings on Oct. 20; nine-month net profit jumped 49 percent, though third-quarter profit dropped 10 percent on year.

Saudi Research and Marketing Group, publisher of Arab News and pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat and one of the Middle East’s largest media companies, jumped 7.2 percent to SR20.15 as it resumed trading after being suspended since last Wednesday.

On Sunday, the company said two funds owned by NCB Capital had bought over 50 percent of it but do not plan any changes to the overall “strategy of the company and have no plans to buy the rest of the outstanding shares”.

Some industrial stocks hit in Sunday’s sell-off were bought back, with industrial park developer Emaar Economic City adding 1.1 percent.

But City Cement tumbled 6.2 percent as it went ex-dividend; it plans to pay a SR1 dividend for the first three quarters of 2015.

Dubai’s index, which had fallen 2.1 percent on Sunday as the Saudi downgrade hit sentiment around the region, recovered 1.9 percent on Monday.

Emaar Properties, Dubai’s top real estate developer, reported a 31 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 843 million dirhams ($229.5 million). That came in below a forecast by EFG Hermes, which had estimated 1.02 billion dirhams, but it was enough to boost Emaar shares 4.5 percent to 6.48 dirhams.

Naeem brokerage said in a note that Emaar’s earnings were marginally weaker than expected but citing its diversified property portfolio and recent drops in its share price, kept a “buy” on the stock with a target price of 14.61 dirhams.

Shipping firm Gulf Navigation soared 10.4 percent after reporting a 123 percent rise in nine-month net profit on an 11 percent increase in revenues.

Abu Dhabi’s index was flat though Aldar Properties, the most heavily traded stock, climbed 4.9 percent.

Qatar edged down 0.3 percent while Kuwait was 0.1 percent higher. Kuwait’s Burgan Bank added 1.3 percent after it reported a 41 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 21.64 million dinars ($71.5 million). Analysts had estimated 17.0-17.8 million dinars.

Egypt’s index edged up 0.3 percent with most of the 10 most heavily traded stocks barely changed.


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