Stock DFM Dubai stock market traders
Markets cheered the resilience shown by Air Arabia and Emaar Malls. Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche/Gulf News

UAE and oher Gulf markets displayed a mixed performance in early trade on Thursday with investors taking a call based on corporate earnings that pleased or disappointed them.

Dubai Financial Market gained 0.4 cent to 2 643 points, with Air Arabia advancing 3.2 per cent to Dh1.3 after it made profits in the fourth quarter despite a challenging environment for the aviation sector. Though its quarterly profits plunged 90 per cent to Dh20 million against a total turnover of Dh536 million, it was still enough to get  investors' attention.

The airline said its measures taken to control overall cost while ensuring business continuity resulted in a profitable fourth quarter.

Watch out for Aramco
With earnings season having kicked off, 29 companies out of the 204 listed ones have reported their Q4-2020 earnings. 17 of them have exceeded analysts’ earnings expectations on the upside," said Kaia Parv at FXPrimus.

"All eyes are on Saudi Aramco. Its Q3-2020 earnings slumped 45 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, suffering from a collapse in oil prices.

"Aramco, with its SR6.9 trillion ($1.9 trillion) market cap and current share price of SR34.45 dwarfs other listed companies on Tadawul All Shares Index (TASI). Investors have been on a wild ride with prices shooting to SR38.01 after its IPO price of SR35.20 in December 2019, only to crash SAR 27.79 in March on the back of global lockdowns."

Emaar Malls rose 0.6 per cent to Dh1.7 after its full-year profits topped expectations even though they dropped 69 per cent to Dh704 million, down from Dh2.29 billion in 2019. Its revenues fell 25 per cent to Dh3.51 billion versus the Dh4.67 billion a year earlier. But markets looked pleased with the performance considering the difficult operating conditions.

Dividends help

Commercial Bank of Dubai inched higher by 1.3 per cent to Dh4. The lender posted Dh1.12 billion in full-year net profit and Dh2.98 billion in total operating income, and retained nearly the same dividends of 20 per cent of capital it distributed for 2019.


Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange dipped 0.2 per cent to 5,659 points with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank shedding 0.6 per cent to Dh4.9. RAK Ceramics also dropped 0.6 per cent to Dh.1.6 after posting full-year losses amounting to Dh129.7 million versus a profit of Dh164.4 million a year earlier.

Cue from oil
Oil prices have rebounded since November last year when markets started pricing in reflationary trade at the back of announcements about COVID-19 vaccine," said Kaia Parv at FXPrimus.

"Biden’s win, as well as expectations about re-opening of global economies. Oil futures have decisively moved higher from $44 levels in November 2020 to $58 levels. Price action has been bolstered by thinning stockpiles – an outcome of the agreement between OPEC, Russia and other major oil producing nations in April 2020 to cut production by 9.7 billion barrels a day."

Lower payout

The Kuwait premier index slipped 0.2 per cent to 6,210 points. Telco Ooredoo Kuwait traded 4.7 per cent lower after its full-year net profits dived 89 per cent to KD3.4 million from KD30.1 million, prompting it to cut dividends to 15 fils, less than a third from 50 fils it handed out a year before.

Bahrain shares edged up 0.1 percent led by Aluminium Bahrain which said its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled to BD32 million compared to BD13.8 it reported for the same period last year.