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Dubai's Drake & Scull at week-low; Gulf mkts muted - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Dubai contractor Drake & Scull International slumped to a one-week low on Wednesday after it posted disappointing second-quarter numbers that missed forecasts, but trading on most regional markets were muted ahead of the Eid holidays.

Drake shares dropped 1.9 percent to its lowest since Aug 7. The stock, which has gained 24 percent year-to-date, accounted for nearly half the shares traded on the emirate’s bourse .

The contractor blamed high acquisition funding costs and contract provisioning for the drop in earnings.

Developer Deyaar also slipped 0.6 percent, after it reported a marginal increase in profits aided by a sharp drop in expenses.

However, Dubai’s top real estate firm Emaar Properties reversed losses in early trade and climbed 0.3 percent, partly offseting declines on other property-related stocks.

Emaar said on Tuesday that revenue from apartment sales more than doubled in the second quarter offseting a drop in sales of commercial units and villas.

“We are seeing some slowdown ahead of the Eid holiday but the UAE has had a decent rally, with prices adjusted upwards on Q2 numbers,” said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes’ director of institutional equity sales.

“We’ve some misses, most notably Arabtec and now Drake, so we could see some consolidation going forward before we look for the next leg-up.”

Property stocks in Dubai have rallied recently following positive second-quarter earnings and hope that the near four-year real estate market slump is ending.

Telecoms firm Du also gained 1.1 percent.

Dubai’s index edged up ending 0.09 percent higher.

Trade was also muted on Abu Dhabi’s bourse, which ended 0.1 percent up.

Gulf Arab markets are seeing a slowdown in trading as the region heads into the long Eid holiday starting this weekend.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse broke through the psychologically-important 7,000-point mark on the final trading session before the Eid break, led by food stocks.

“Some declines were expected today as it’s the last day of trading. However, the market is around the bottom and there’s not much profit-taking,” said Hesham Tuffaha, head of asset management at Bakheet Investment Group.

The agricultural and food index advanced 3.2 percent, led by dairy and food producer Almarai Co, which jumped 10 pct in its largest one-day gain in more than two years. The dairy firm closes at its highest level since June 18.

Saudi Fisheries Co gained 1 percent, with Halwani Brothers Co rising 1.9 percent.

Banks also performed well, with Bank Al Bilad climbing 3.3 percent to its highest finish since April 22. SABB and Banque Saudi Fransi gained 1.5 and 0.9 percent respectively.

However, Bank Al Jazira dropped 0.7 percent, trimming its August rise to 13.4 percent.

The index closed 0.5 percent higher at 7,004 points.

Egypt’s index continued its advance for a fourth consecutive session, adding 0.2 percent. The North African country will discuss the possibility of a bigger-than-expected $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund when a delegation from the Washington-based body visits Cairo this month, its finance minister said.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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