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Banks lift Qatar index; most Gulf markets rise | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Qatar National Bank helped lift the Gulf state’s index on Thursday after posting quarterly results that beat analysts’ forecasts and most othermarkets also rose.

QNB closed 0.7 percent higher after reporting third-quarter net profit rose 27 percent to 1.9 billion riyals ($521 million), according to Reuters calculations.

Analysts polled by Reuters estimated profit at 1.8 billion riyals.

Commercial Bank of Qatar climbed 3.1 percent and Doha Bank gained 3.7 percent.

“(One of) the more interesting sectors will be banking, in Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain.

“That’s where we may get some positive surprise.”

Dubai investment bank Shuaa Capital named Michael Philipp, a former Credit Suisse executive, as its new chief executive, replacing Sameer Al Ansari who joined in 2009.

Shuaa, which took companies such as ports operator DP World to market, has been struggling to drive revenue growth amid a slowdown in its core business.

The index ended 1.1 market percent higher, but is still down 1.8 percent on the month.

Elsewhere, UAE’s bourses ended higher with Dubai’s benchmark climbing 0.8 percent, recovering from Wednesday’s seven-month low.

Property stocks rose in both markets, but investors are skeptical about the pending quarterly earnings results.

Emaar Properties gained 1.6 percent and Arabtec added 2.3 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate’s shares were up 0.9 percent and 1 percent.

“With real estate companies in UAE, I don’t think we will see any positive surprises. The sector is going through a consolidation phase and the view right now is long term,” Sarwar added.

Aldar said its Chief Financial Officer Shafqat Malik resigned to pursue other opportunities.

The emirate’s index rose 0.2 percent, up from Wednesday’s 13-month low.

In Oman, the index slipped 0.1 percent, down for a seventh consecutive session.

Renaissance Services fell 2.1 percent and Galfar Engineering dipped 0.9 percent.

Oman Telecommunications ended flat.

“The services sector is estimated to report a total income growth of about 7.5 percent on a year-on-year basis to 328.795 million Omani rials on the back of higher than anticipated growth from the incumbent telecom player,” Gulf Baader Capital Markets says in a research note.

“The same is expected to grow marginally by 1.4 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis.”

Elsewhere, Kuwait’s index ended 0.1 percent higher, trimming 2011 losses to 16.2 percent.

“Activity is mainly retail, with high-net worth individuals on the side” said a Kuwait-based trader on condition of anonymity.

“Foreign money is coming back a bit in banks and services stocks but confidence is at an all time low.”

Logistics firm Agility jumped for a third day, up 4.4 percent to its highest level since June 8.