Turkey keeps Gulf wary, Saudi’s NCB falls after earnings
Gulf stock markets moved little early on Sunday as the failed coup attempt in Turkey kept investors cautious, while Saudi Arabia’s largest listed bank dropped after reporting second-quarter earnings.
The Saudi index edged up 0.3 percent in the first 50 minutes of trade as Almarai climbed 2.7 percent after it said second-quarter net profit rose 18.6 percent year-on-year to 628.8 million riyals ($167.7 million), beating analysts’ average forecast of 530.3 million riyals.
But National Commercial Bank fell 1.5 percent after its quarterly profit came in at 2.44 billion riyals, at the low end of estimates; analysts had on average expected 2.54 billion riyals.
The failed coup attempt in Turkey is expected to have little financial impact on the Gulf because trade and investment ties are relatively minor. Nevertheless, fund managers said the event made some investors more wary of buying.
Qatar National Bank, which last month completed the acquisition of Turkey’s Finansbank, fell 0.7 percent, helping to pull the Qatari stock index down 0.4 percent.
Dubai edged up 0.3 percent as builder Arabtec , the most heavily traded stock, jumped 4.0 percent. On Thursday it said major shareholder Aabar Investments had agreed to give it a 400 million dirham ($109 million) debt facility to help it weather “challenging” conditions in the industry.
Abu Dhabi added 0.1 percent although Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank sank 3.5 percent after it posted on Thursday a 1 percent rise in second-quarter net profit but warned it was restricting the amount of new credit it provided because of an increase in defaults across its business lines.
Bahrain underperformed the region, dropping 0.7 percent, after Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported that a court had dissolved the country’s main Shi’ite Muslim opposition group al-Wefaq and liquidated its funds, advancing a crackdown on the Gulf kingdom’s opposition.