Saudi Arabia's stocks rode a sixth day of positive sentiments from robust corporate earnings and oil's rally. But other Gulf markets were lacklustre with stocks moving sideways amid a flood of company results.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.5 per cent to 8,944 points, closing out the week 3.8 per cent higher in what is its best performance year-to-date. The weekly gains come after three weeks of losses amid fresh virus-related curbs in the kingdom.
Saudi Investment Bank inched up 0.8 per cent to trade at SR16.1 after it posted a four-fold jump in full-year net profit to SR980 million from SR239 million a year before. It reported a decrease in total operating expenses and in provisions. Abullah Al Othaim Markets ticked up by 1 per cent as its fourth-quarter profits rose 16.3 per cent to SR165.5 million as profit margins improved.
Dubai Financial Market traded 0.1 per cent higher to 2,633 points. Air Arabia advanced 1.6 per cent to Dh1.3 after managing to end the fourth-quarter with profits of Dh20 million despite a challenging environment for the aviation industry.
Jump in dividends
Oman Insurance jumped 7.7 per cent to Dh2.1 after full-year net profit rose to Dh194.3 million from Dh186.9 million, with its board of directors recommending 10 per cent as dividends. (There were no payouts a year earlier.)
Amanat Holdings also rose 1 per cent despite the full-year profits dropping to Dh8.3 million from Dh60 million a year earlier, but revenues rose slightly to Dh143.6 million.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was unchanged from the last session at 5,667 points. Gulf Cement rose 5.1 per cent to Dh0.8 as its board of directors proposed full-year dividends of 5 per cent despite losses widening to Dh273.5 million from Dh26.8 million.
RAK Ceramics rallied 4.3 per cent to Dh1.7 as shareholders will get 7.5 per cent as dividends in spite of the company turning a loss-maker in 2020.
Kuwait premier index fell 0.1 per cent to 6,211 points with Mabanee shedding 3.4 per cent ahead of its full results. Boubyan Petrochemical edged back 2.2 per cent as investors booked profit after the stock scaled 8.2 per cent in the last session when it announced at least 40 fils a share dividend for next three years.
Qatar Exchange dipped 0.1 per cent to 10,523 points with Industries Qatar slipping 0.7 per cent. It earlier this week reported lower full-year profits and slashed dividends. Bahrain shares traded flat but Khaleeji Commercial Bank scaled up 6 per cent after it posted BD 8 million in 2020 profit versus loss of BD 14.9 million a year earlier.
Oman's 30-company index traded unchanged at 3,560 points. Al Omaniya Financial Services accelerated by 9.1 per cent after announcing 10 per cent of paid-up capital in dividends.