Dubai: Saudi Arabian stocks headed lower with the banking stocks leading the losses after subdued first-quarter results from the sector. Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks outperformed as the momentum created by the earnings goes on.
Saudi Arabia benchmark index inched down 0.5 per cent at 10,362 points. Riyad Bank retreated 2.8 per cent after the first-quarter profits shrank more than 8 per cent taking a hit from higher total operating expenses coupled with lower total operating income. Impairment charges on investments rose over 4 per cent, though the impairment allowances for credit losses dropped to SR249 million from SR303 million it took on, for the corresponding period last year.
Earnings continue to weigh on trade
Saudi British Bank shed over 2 per cent after the bottom-line figures slightly decreased to SR 1.14 billion for the first three months of the year. The lacklustre performance was driven by a drop in total operating income which in turn was hit by lower special commission income. However, the results received some support from lower provision for expected credit losses and as total operating expenses dropped.
Dubai Financial Market expanded morning gains closing up 0.7 per cent at 2,624 points. Real estate shares again led the advances as all sectoral stocks advanced adding to their recent gains built on the tailwind from robust first-quarter results from a couple of blue-chips.
Property shares upbeat on sector cues
Emaar Development jumped up 30.6 per cent while Emaar Properties added 3 per cent with Damac Properties, Deyaar Development and Union Properties joining in the rally.
Emaar Properties earlier announced a more than doubling in the first-quarter sales as the demand ticked up particularly for villas, townhouses and homes with sea views. The developer has yet to report complete results for the first three months of the year. The Emaar numbers were backed up by a near six-fold rise in Deyaar Development's bottom-line numbers, setting off the demand for other developers ahead of their earning announcements.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange edged up 0.5 per cent to trade at 6,077 points with the largest boost coming from the heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank that closed out the day up 0.8 per cent.
Rally to go on
The telecom firm Etisalat added around 1 per cent to its value after posting an eight per cent rise in the first-quarter profits. The fresh numbers come to reflect a sustained performance from last year which it navigated with positive growth despite pandemic challenges. The stock is already up around 27 per cent for the year on the back of strong full-year results and additional dividends coupled with foreign ownership limit hike. The new quarterly numbers show the rally will continue going into the second quarter.