Dubai: Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose for a fifth straight session coinciding with the rally in oil now trading beyond $61 a barrel. Other Gulf stocks demonstrated a mixed performance on a busy day for corporate earnings.
Saudi stocks inched up 0.1 per cent to 8,902 points. National Commercial Bank surged 3.7 per cent to SR45. The lender navigated a difficult year with relative success as it reported SR11.44 billion in full-year net profit, a slight increase from SR11.40 billion for a year before. The forecast-beating profits come as higher operating income was offset by higher operating expenses and as its net impairment charges for expected credit losses reached SR1.95 billion, a rise of 37 per cent from 2019.
Gains on rights issue
Samba Financial Group jumped 4.5 per cent to trade at SR32.6 getting its boost from NCB, with which it's going to merge. Anaam International Holding soared 10 per cent adding to its gains in the last session when its board of directors recommended raising SR210 million through a rights issue.
Qatar Exchange rose 0.8 per cent to 10,529 points returning to gains for the year. Petrochemical maker Industries Qatar jumped 3.3 per cent after the world's largest liquefied natural gas supplier Qatar Petroleum struck a deal aimed at expanding the country's LNG output by 40 per cent a year by 2026.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange closed little changed from the last session as it eked out 0.1 per cent to 5,667 points. Banks mostly rose with First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank all gaining between 0.1 and 0.6 per cent.
Dubai Financial Market edged back 0.6 per cent to 2,632 points with earnings disappointing the investors. Emirates Refreshments and DXB Entertainments plunged 4.9 per cent each, while Aramex also dropped 4.9 per cent as they all reported lower full-year results.
Kuwait premier index slipped 0.3 per cent to 6,220 points dragged mainly by banking stocks as Kuwait Finance House shed 0.6 per cent, while Ahli United Bank and Boubyan Bank declined 0.9 per cent. The lenders have recently come under selling pressure from their lackluster latest earnings.
New dividend policy
However, Boubyan Petrochemical Company shot up to its best single-day gain this year, rising 4.7 per cent after its board of directors recommended at least 40 fils per share dividend for the next three years.
Oman's 30-company index edged back 0.2 per cent to 3,560 points as its lenders continued lagging on the backdrop of lower full-year profits and dividends. Bank Muscat dropped 0.5 per cent to OR0.4 while Sohar International Bank retreated 2.6 per cent to close at OR0.08. Bahrain shares also fell with Al Salam Bank shedding 2.6 per cent ahead of its earnings announcement.