Egypt's main index ended higher yesterday as investor interest in battered blue-chips returned after a widening graft crackdown, while most Gulf Arab markets corrected after recent rally. Egypt's index gained 2.5 percent with EFG-Hermes and Egyptian Resorts up 8.8 and 7.5 percent respectively. "This is a natural market reaction after sharp losses in the past period," said Mohamed Swefy of Osool Brokerage.
Citadel Capital, whose chairman Ahmed Heikal was banned by prosecutors from travel pending a corruption probe, gained 3.5 percent. "Most of the blue chips that really got smashed for the past three sessions have seen a psychological rebound," said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities.
Oman's index fell 0.4 percent, as Renaissance Services tumbled on its unit losing a court case. Renaissance's UAE-based unit Topaz filed a case against customer SD Marine last year, claiming breach of contract for cancellation of two marine vessels. The stock lost 2.7 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 percent in lacklustre trade as investors await the rest of first quarter corporate results. "It's normal to have a pull back after a recent run due to the pick up in global equities," said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales. Etisalat dropped 0.5 percent after posting below forecast first-quarter results on Monday. Its net profit fell by 8.9 percent. "We suspect that, in addition to aggressive competition, there could have been a subscriber base clean-up through service cut-off for non-registered SIM cards," which affected revenues, said a note from EFG-Hermes. Dubai's index pushed higher 0.1 percent, crossing a 14-week high.
Emirates NBD gained 1.4 percent and telecoms operator du rose 0.6 percent. Saudi Arabia's index fell to a three-week closing low as the latest earnings missed forecasts, leading to a correction. The benchmark slips 0.1 percent, its lowest close since March 29. Technical indicators show that the market is due for a bit of correction with support at 6,415 points - this will not happen for a couple of days," said Youssef Kassantini, a Riyadh-based financial analyst. Saudi Electricity retreated 0.4 percent after it said on Monday first-quarter losses narrowed slightly compared with the prior-year period. But the results missed analyst forecasts.
Bucking the trend, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) gained 2.6 percent after reporting a 42 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit on Monday as it increased production and sales. Qatar's index slipped 0.1 percent to a two-week low, weighed by Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) despite the company posting better-than-expected results. The stock fell 1.6 percent as first-quarter profits rose 15 percent to 188.49 million riyals. "Decent results in Qatar are priced in... support is at 8,600 levels," said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales. "We're seeing a bit of consolidation and expect it to continue."
From: Kuwait Times