Saudi and UAE investors welcome first spell of earnings
Saudi banks cheered investors after reporting massive profit gains
Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi stocks moved higher, led all the way by their banks that outperformed after the strong three-month results and business outlook grabbed investor focus. Dubai advances were led by real estate stocks.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed the session up 0.4 per cent at 10,134 points. Alinma Bank gained 1.7 per cent as its first-quarter profit jumped around 74 per cent to SR642 million on the back of improved total operating income. Al Rajhi Bank added to its advances after posting a 40 per cent spike in the bottom-line for the same period as the financial and investment income expanded.
Multi-fold profit surge
Saudi Ceramic soared 7.5 per cent after multiplying the quarterly profits to SR70.7 million from SR10.6 million a year earlier. The firm attributed more than six-fold rise in the net income to increased sales revenue, and better profit margins due to decrease in cost of sales. Its financial charges also thinned as substantial parts of the loans were repaid.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ended the day higher by 0.7 per cent at 6,102 points with the biggest push coming from the UAE's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank. The lender started the day on a softer note as investors traded risk-off after it reported a meagre 3 per cent uptick in the first quarter profits. The bottom-line was driven by a sharp decline in impairment charges as market conditions improved, which offset the drop in the net interest income due to continued rate cuts from 2020.
Outlook wows investors
But the stock came back strongly later in the day, up 1.4 per cent, as investors began to think beyond first-quarter results buying into the lender's argument that it will be back to better profitable growth during the second half of the year when the economy is forecast to return to normal activity. The lender triggered sector gains with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank also closing the day higher.
Dubai Financial Market traded upward by 1 per cent at 2,626 points with all property shares notching up heffy gains, led by Emaar Properties and Deyaar Development which shot up close to 3 per cent after recently announced first-quarter results created a lot of interest in the sector. Banking sector also eked out decent gains continuing its rally after the blue-chip earnings offered insight into how other banks have performed in the first three months.
Moving in opposite directions
Qatar Exchange closed the session nearly unchanged with material and energy stocks pushing up the index and real estate and financial shares weighing it down. Qatar Aluminium and Qatar Fuel recorded upside movements while Qatar Commercial Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank shedding their value. United Development traded at the foot after posting a drop in the first-quarter profits.
Kuwait premier index was marginally up, bolstered by the banking pack after its biggest lender National Bank of Kuwait announced higher quarterly net income, stoking investor hopes in the sectoral performance. Banks also pushed Oman's 30-company index higher, while it was materials propelling the Bahrain shares.