Abu Dhabi stocks closed out the week with a host of robust corporate earnings topping market expectations and stoking investor confidence. Saudi stocks, on the other hand, ended lower with earnings weighing them down.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ended the day higher by 0.6 per cent to 6,152 points, and is up 1.7 per cent for the week, with signs that more listed companies are plotting their way out of last year's subdued activity. The weekly gains mark a reversal from two consecutive weeks of declines, when fears about uncertain market conditions gripped investors and forced them to book profits. At the time, the index was trading around 22 per cent higher for the year.
Leads regional gains
The gauge has outperformed other GCC markets by a wide margin with International Holding contributing the most by being up nearly 123 per cent year-to-date. The firm gained more than 3 per cent on Thursday after reporting record first quarter numbers for the top- and bottom-line.
The firm's profits soared to Dh1.5 billion from Dh112.2 million last year, whereas revenues surged to Dh2.3 billion from Dh713 million as its acquisition-fuelled growth model and geographically diversifief investment strategy helped it navigate through the challenging environment.
Week of gains
Dubai Financial Market edged 0.5 per cent higher to 2,664 points in what was its fourth advance this week, helping it end by more than 2 per cent. The weekly rally was led mainly by real estate stocks with most of them expected to announce first-quarter results early next week.
Thursday's gains were led by Emirates NBD, scaling over 2 per cent as it was rebounding from a muted performance in recent sessions. Emaar Development, Emaar Malls and du were among others propelling the index higher.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index traded down 0.2 per cent to 10,228 points, set off by a number of lacklustre earnings. Abdullah Al Othaim Markets dropped around 4 per cent after profit shrank by 42 per cent for the first three months.
Saudi Arabia Cooperative Insurance plunged 6.8 per cent after the first-quarter losses widened by more than 50 per cent. The insurer took a hit from lower reinsurance commission income and higher policy acquisition costs. Its bottom-line was further hit by increased general and administrative expenses and net claims.