Dubai : Strong earnings by Emaar Malls and Aramex boosted Dubai’s stock market yesterday but most major Middle Eastern bourses were soft, with changes by MSCI to its equity indexes affecting the Egyptian market.
The Dubai index added 0.8 per cent as Emaar Malls, the emirate’s flagship mall operator, rose 3.6pc to 2.33 dirhams, although it came off the day’s high after failing a test of technical resistance on the January peaks of 2.38 dirhams.
It reported a 27pc gain in fourth-quarter net profit to 574 million dirhams ($156 million). SICO Bahrain had forecast 499 million
Courier Aramex, which has been trading near one-year lows, jumped 7.3pc after it reported a 25pc rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 165 million dirhams, beating SICO Bahrain’s estimate of 115 million dirhams. For the full year, profit increased only 2pc.
The Saudi index fell 0.2pc although Riyad Bank gained 0.7pc after reporting a leap in quarterly profit to 974 million riyals from 293 million riyals a year ago. It cited lower impairment charges for credit losses; analysts polled by Reuters had on average predicted a profit of 732 million riyals.
Saudi Investment Bank fell 1.3pc after MSCI said it would remove the stock from the MSCI Saudi Arabia index at the end of this month.
In Egypt, the index dropped 1.1pc as the biggest bank, Commercial International Bank, fell 3.4pc to 73.00 pounds.
Egyptian interest rates look set to fall as inflation eases. In a report this week, AlphaMena kept an “add” rating on the stock with a six-month target of 88.8 pounds, but said the bank would suffer from an interest rate cut since the fixed interest nature of its deposits would hurt profit margins.
Egyptian tobacco company Eastern Co climbed 3.2pc while investment bank EFG Hermes dropped 5.5pc. MSCI said it had decided to add Eastern to its MSCI Egypt global standard index, replacing EFG Hermes, which moves to its small cap index.
El Sewedy Electric fell 2.0pc; it will be deleted from the small cap index. MSCI’s changes will take effect at the end of this month.
Qatar’s market was closed for a public holiday.