Strong earnings by Emaar Malls lifted Dubai shares and selective buying in top blue-chip companies helped Qatar rebound from early losses, as most Gulf markets ended in positive territory.
The region’s biggest stock market, Saudi Arabia, ended flat as investors tried to digest quarterly earnings and were cautious about valuations for top companies after the index’s nearly 15 percent rise so far this year.
The Dubai index ended 0.8 percent higher, supported by property stocks after Emaar Malls reported a 15 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, broadly in line with market forecasts.
Emaar Properties ended 1.3 percent higher and Emaar Malls gained 0.8 percent, although it gave up some early gains when it had jumped by over 2 percent. Rival DAMAC Properties also gained 1.8 percent.
The Qatar index rose 0.2 percent, helped by selective buying in Industries Qatar. which climbed 1.6 percent. Qatar National Bank also rose 0.7 percent.
The market recovered from early weakness when shares in telecommunications firm Ooredoo had plunged after reporting a 60 percent decline in second-quarter net profit a day earlier. Ooredoo ended the day 5 percent lower.
Weakness in banking stocks weighed on the Kuwaiti index, pushing it down by 0.5 percent. Kuwait Finance House fell 1.7 percent.
The stock is still up 14 percent so far this year but has given up some gains in recent days as its merger talks with a rival Bahraini lender picks up the pace.
Last week, advisors were named to assist Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank, Bahrain’s largest lender during their merger talks, the first cross-border tie-up between Gulf banks in recent years at a time when several other banks are consolidating.
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