Dubai: UAE stocks surged on Wednesday as investors reacted positively to forecast-beating results from the country's key lenders First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD, while assuring investors a dividend amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Both stock markets of UAE climbed over 1 per cent in a clear sign of market-beating optimism, as their global counterparts stayed cautious ahead of an update on the US monetary policy package and as several industry giants were also set to release their earnings report.
Abu Dhabi Security Exchange jumped 1.4 per cent, the most in the last six trading sessions. It was bolstered by gains from the stock of the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) - which scaled up as much as 2.7 per cent during the day, before settling up 2.5 per cent at close. The investors were upbeat as the bank chose to hand out as a generous cash profit to shareholders as it did in 2019, even as the virus continues to rattle the world economy.
FAB announced a dividend distribution of 74 fils per share to its shareholders as its fourth-quarter profit rose 5 per cent and it’s full year results topped market expectations even after shrinking 16 per cent, as impairment charges rose in a year challenged by the health crisis.
The lender’s rally triggered gains from other stocks, from within the banking sector and beyond, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank advancing 2.2 per cent and Aldar Properties rising 3.5 per cent.
Dubai Financial Market added 1.1 per cent after slipping in three out of the last four sessions.
The emirate’s top lender Emirates NBD led gains on the benchmark, surging 2.6 per cent after it decided not to cut its shareholders’ dividend payout. A profit distribution of 40 fils per share was announced after its net income more than halved – but beat analyst estimates, which reinforced investor confidence in the state of the bank’s finances.
Like in Abu Dhabi, other companies rose as a result as Dubai Islamic Bank gained 2 per cent and telecom giant Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) traded higher by 1.1 per cent.