© Reuters. Screens showing data from the Qatar Stock Exchange in Doha – Photo from Reuters archive.
From Muhammad Munther Hussain
(Reuters) – The Qatari stock market extended its gains on Wednesday for the fifth consecutive session, outperforming its peers in the Gulf region, following strong corporate earnings, while Abu Dhabi shares closed lower.
The Qatari index rose 0.5 percent amid a rise in the financial sector and the raw materials sector.
Shares in the Commercial Bank of Qatar jumped 10 percent on the growth of its annual profits and the increase in dividends.
The bank announced a net annual profit growth of more than 22 percent to 2.81 billion riyals (771.98 million), exceeding analysts’ expectations of achieving profits of 2.34 billion riyals. The bank raised the annual cash dividend by 56 percent, compared to 2021, to 0.25 riyals per share.
The main index of the Stock Exchange increased 0.1 percent, supported by gains in the health care, financial services and raw materials sectors, with shares of Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group rising 3 percent and Dallah Health 5.3 percent.
Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL:) the oil giant ended a six-session rally, down 0.3 percent, while Al-Rajhi Bank, the world’s largest Islamic bank by market value, rose 0.4 percent.--
Crude, a major catalyst for the Gulf financial markets, stabilized on Wednesday after falling in the previous session. Brent crude was up 7 cents, or 0.1%, at $86.06 a barrel by 1227 GMT, after falling 2.3% in the previous session.-
Abu Dhabi’s stock index fell 0.4 percent, as First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country’s largest bank, fell 1.8 percent and International Holding Company fell 0.2 percent.
It fell 0.4 percent, weighed down by the decline in shares of utilities, financial services and real estate companies, as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) fell 0.8 percent, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation fell 1.3 percent, while heavyweight Emaar Properties (DFM:) lost 0.2 percent.
Outside the Gulf region, the blue-chip index on the Egyptian Stock Exchange closed up 2.1 percent, extending its gains since last Wednesday.
“The Egyptian stock exchange continued to rise as foreign investors continued their buying spree. The market may continue to benefit from the improvement in sentiment,” said Fadi Riad, senior market analyst at Capix.com for the Middle East and North Africa.
A Reuters poll conducted on Wednesday showed that the economy will grow 4.8 percent in the current fiscal year, a faster pace than the government had expected, but it will not achieve its goals in the medium term.
(Prepared by Mahmoud Abdel-Gawad for the Arabic Bulletin)