Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks traded in the red as the selloff continued of banking stocks despite fairly upbeat first quarter numbers. In Qatar, the index hardly changed changed with insurance and banking stocks pulling in opposite directions.
Dubai Financial Market slipped 0.7 per cent to 2,610 points, pulled lower by banking and real estate stocks. Union Properties, Deyaar Development and Emirates NBD headed downward, while Dubai Islamic Bank also slipped into the red after the first-quarter profits shrunk 23 per cent year-on-year to Dh853 million.
The lender attributed the lower profits to the one-off gains amounting to Dh1 billion for the same period last year. However, the net profit rebounded sharply from the fourth quarter, when it recorded Dh35 million on the bottom-line, and signifying a clearly improving trend.
The bank's total income numbers also thinned by 20 per cent year-on-year to Dh2.85 billion but its impact on the profitability was partially offset by a 27 per cent reduction in operating expenses and as impairment losses nearly halved.
The banking pack also pushed Abu Dhabi Securities down by 0.4 per cent at 6,097 points. First Abu Dhabi Bank led the losses in terms of negative weightage on the index by shedding 0.5 per cent. Etisalat took a dip ahead of the first-quarter results planned for later in the day.
The telco is expected to post higher profits for the quarter after having navigated the challenging 2020 with an improved bottom-line of over Dh9 billion compared with Dh8.69 billion a year earlier. The other thing factoring into the stock's lacklustre performance was profit-booking as it is trading 26 per cent higher for the year.
Qatar Exchange flatlined in early trades at 10,968 points with Qatar Insurance advancing 3.6 per cent after turning profitable in the first quarter. It reported QR200.6 million in profit and marking a significant reversal from the QR185 million in losses last year. The turnaround comes largely on the back of net investment income and net underwriting results that posted a multi-fold improvement.
But the banking and industrial stocks pulled the index in the opposite direction. Telco Ooredoo stepped back with investors awaiting the first-quarter results likely to come out later in the day.