SAUDI ARABIA (OBSERVATORY) – Most Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday on rising oil prices and satisfaction that military attacks on Syria at the end of last week were relatively limited and not immediately followed.
The United States, France and Britain launched 105 rockets after an alleged chemical attack in Syria a week ago. Washington said the attacks were confined to three facilities that said its activities were linked to chemical weapons.
“The region’s markets have lagged behind riskier global assets over the past four years, so the strong recovery in oil prices so far supports a bullish trend in the region’s markets,” said Mohamed Al-Jamal, Managing Director of Waha Capital in Abu Dhabi.
“Today’s price action shows that despite geopolitical risks, investors are still buying stocks whose prices have fallen in the GCC.”
Brent crude closed at $ 72.58 a barrel on Friday, its highest level in years, boosting the petrochemicals sector in the Saudi market, whose main index rose 1.9 percent on Sunday. Nama Chemicals jumped 10 percent, achieving the best performance on the exchange.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 1.8 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co gained 2.7 percent.
Advanced Petrochemicals fell in early trading, but recovered to close 2.3 percent higher. The company’s first-quarter net profit fell to 98 million riyals ($ 26.13 million) from 124.4 million riyals a year earlier, with sales falling 4.2 percent. Analysts in a Reuters poll forecast a profit of 124 million riyals.
Abu Dhabi’s general index rose 1 percent, led by Dana Gas, which gained 2.2 percent and Aldar Properties gained 2.9 percent.
Dana said in late March it would seek shareholders’ approval to pay dividends for 2017, the first of its kind in years. Earlier this week, the company posted on its website a report in the Gulf newspaper that the board could now continue to recommend dividend payments in the coming years.
Aldar Properties rose 2.9 percent after raising its foreign ownership ceiling to 49 percent from 40 percent. This change could lead to an immediate increase in foreign ownership. Non-Arab foreign investors now hold 25.66 percent of the company, but it may also support the share’s weight in emerging markets.
The Dubai index rose 1.8 percent as DXB Entertainment Parks rose 1.4 percent. The stock started climbing last week after the company reported an increase in visitors to its parks in the first quarter.
A retailer’s stock was down 10 percent and was the worst performer on the market after the company said it would seek shareholders’ approval to cut capital to reduce accumulated losses of 450 million dirhams ($ 122.6 million) and then issue new shares.
Shares in Deyaar Real Estate Development rose 2.2 percent after the company posted a 25 percent rise in net profit for the first quarter, with revenue rising 24 percent. Deyaar’s entire 2017 profit shrank 40 percent.
Stock markets in Kuwait and Oman were closed on public holidays.
Following are the closing levels of the Middle East stock market indices:
Saudi Arabia: The index rose 1.9 percent to 7,773 points.
– The index rose 1.8 percent to 3,151 points.
– Abu Dhabi – The index rose 1 percent to 4,699 points.
Qatar: The index fell 0.3 percent to 8,892 points.
– Egypt: The index fell 0.2 percent to 17589 points.
– Bahrain: The index rose 0.1 percent to 1,292 points.