Most regional stocks end losing streak but Qatar down after data


JEDDAH/DUBAI — Most regional stock markets rose on Wednesday, with Egypt ending a six-day losing streak, but trading volumes were thin in the absence of major new catalysts for investors.

In Saudi Arabia, the stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.4 percent. The vast majority of the 10 most active stocks were smaller shares such as Amana Insurance, up 5.3 percent to 7,128 points.

The Dubai index rose 0.3 percent to 3,589 points as GFH Financial, the most active stock, climbed 2.9 percent.

It had plunged 12.9 percent over the previous two days as it acquired a $1.2 billion infrastructure portfolio in Africa and the Middle East, funding it with a $315 million capital increase that took issued and paid-up capital to $975 million - a big dilution for minority shareholders.

Union Properties, the second most active stock, rose 1.2 percent after sinking 4.3 percent on Tuesday, when it reported a 2.29 billion dirham ($624 million) net loss for the second quarter because of big provisions to cover past accounting errors.

Abu Dhabi's index gained 0.6 percent to 4,497 points on the back of a 5.1 percent surge by Dana Gas after it reported a 71 percent leap in quarterly profit. However, much of the profit rise was due to an 84 percent plunge in capital spending during the first half as the firm said it balanced spending with available sources of cash.

Kuwait index rose 0.2 percent to 6,854 points.

However, Qatar's index was the region's worst performer, sinking 1.2 percent to 9,022 points. Official July data released on Tuesday showed that while economic sanctions against Qatar by other states had not boosted the overall inflation rate much, it had pushed up food prices significantly while accelerating a downturn in real estate prices.

Real estate developer Ezdan dropped 2.7 percent and Investment Holding Group, which had tumbled 13 percent from its initial public offer price in the past two days after listing on Monday, lost a further 3.4 percent.

Bahrain index also edged down 0.1 percent to 1,311 points.

Elsewhere, Egypt's index rebounded 0.4 percent as Telecom Egypt gained 2.2 percent to 11.80 Egyptian pounds, rising for a second straight day after posting strong quarterly earnings. Naeem brokerage maintained a "buy" rating on the stock with a target price of 16.20 pounds. – SG/Reuters