Gulf markets mixed in early trade, Ma’aden soars in Saudi
Stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s bourse buoyed by commodity-related shares while banks weighed on United Arab Emirates indexes.
Shares in Saudi Arabian Mining Co jumped 9.5 per cent, their daily limit, after the miner reshuffled its board and appointed the chairman of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, as a member.
Developing the Saudi mining industry and making Aramco into a diversified industrial conglomerate are major planks of a national economic reform plan announced last week.
Saudi Basic Industries added 1.2 per cent; Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Issa, a board member of Saudi Basic Industries, will also join Ma’aden’s board. The main Saudi stock index was up 0.1 per cent after an hour of trade.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, the mood was weaker. Abu Dhabi banks remained soft after disappointing first-quarter earnings last week; the main index fell 0.7 per cent. Heavyweight First Gulf Bank was down 1.2 per cent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 2.4 per cent.
But Union National Bank rose 2.2 per cent despite posting a 27 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit attributable to equity holders to AED447 million ($121.76m). Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast AED314.00m and AED454.30m.
Dubai’s index fell 0.9 per cent. Emaar Properties , which has not yet reported earnings, fell 1.0 per cent and Dubai Islamic Bank, which reported a drop in profits last week, lost 0.9 per cent.
But Gulf Navigation jumped 6.5 per cent in unusually high trading volume. The ship operator has not yet reported its quarterly results.