Dubai: Most GCC markets traded higher on Wednesday as strong results from key regional lenders First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD cheered Gulf investors.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange surged 1.4 per cent to its biggest single-day gain in last six trading sessions. The index was puller higher by strength in stock of the country's top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), which jumped 2.5 per cent.
The lender announced a dividend distribution of 74 fils per share to its shareholders after its fourth-quarter net profit rose 5 per cent and its full-year results beat analyst forecasts.
Other stocks also benefited from the rally with Aldar Properties rising 3.5 per cent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank advancing 2.2 per cent.
Dubai Financial Market jumped 1.1 per cent after slipping in three out of the four last sessions. Its top lender Emirates NBD scaled up 2.6 per cent after it also reported forecast-beating full-year results and decided not to cut its shareholders' dividend payout.
Kuwait premier index traded 0.5 per cent up to close at more than a three-month high, having risen in last four consecutive sessions. Its key lender National Bank of Kuwait rose 1.2 per cent, posting its biggest single-day jump since January 6, while Kuwait Finance House advanced 1.1 per cent.
Qatar Exchange's index inched up 0.1 per cent with heavyweight Industries Qatar gaining 0.8 per cent and Qatar National Banking trading up 0.6 per cent.
Saudi Arabia's main index edged 0.1 per cent lower in line with global markets which sagged ahead of U.S monetary policy announcement and as investors waited for earnings reports from several industry giants.
The Saudi index closed the day higher just twice in last ten days, mainly squeezed by its banks as concerns linger over the state of recovery in world economy. Being largest oil exporter, the kingdom will greatly benefit from a turnaround in the global economy which will raise oil demand.
Banque Saudi Fransi dropped 1.9 per cent and only rose once in last seven trading days. Saudi British Bank edged back 2.1 per cent.
But Saudi Aramco edged up 0.3 per cent after the head of Saudi Arabia's wealth fund said on Tuesday that the oil giant might float more shares, provided there are right market conditions.
Oman's 30-company index extended its losses and fell 0.5 per cent, retreating on a fourth straight day. National Bank of Oman plunged 9.6 per cent to its biggest single-day fall since March last year and closed at lowest level in more than 15 years.
The bank said on Wednesday it would not pay out dividend to its shareholders for year 2020 after it earlier this month reported around 65 per cent dip in its full-year net profit.
The lender earlier this week also announced its exposure of 63 million dirhams to related companies of the defaulter frim Darvesh Group.
Little movement was seen in Bahrain stocks, where the index inched up 0.1 per cent.