Most regional markets retreated yesterday as global economic outlook concerns weighed on sentiment, while shares in National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) rose in heavy trade after posting estimate-beating earnings.
NBK climbed 1.1 percent as 38 million shares change hands — its highest daily traded volume since August 2010. It accounted for a third of the total market traded value of 92 million dinars ($ 322.86 million).
The lender posted a flat profit in the first quarter compared to a year earlier but came in ahead of forecasts, saying its operating environment was improving because of more active government spending.
“People are trying to build up collateral and regain back ownership of their shares, they’re buying back into the story that things are improving in Kuwait,” said a Kuwait-based trader on condition of anonymity.
Banks in Kuwait give loans to investors to trade on the market, while holding shares as collateral against these loans.
The benchmark slipped 0.1 percent, down from Wednesday’s 29-month high. The market is trading above the psychologically important 7,000 level, but is still recovering from November’s eight-year low.
In Oman, the index declined 0.5 percent, down for a third session since Monday’s 23-month high. “Markets are under pressure because of global sentiment,” said Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager.
Transgulf Investment Holding fell 5.8 percent. The company’s first-quarter audited results were worse than the unaudited numbers, Nasr said.
Galfar Engineering retreated 3.3 percent. The company is not related to Galfar Al-Misnad Engineering and Contracting company in Qatar, which is part of a consortium shortlisted for Doha Metro Rail Project. But the Omani firm is now negotiating with Galfar-Al Misnad to take part of their portion in the project, it said in a bourse statement.
UAE markets fell, with Dubai’s measure slipping 1.1 percent, its fourth decline in the last five sessions. The market is struggling to take a clear direction since hitting a 40-month high last week.
Heavyweight Emaar Properties fell 2.7 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank shed 2.1 percent.
Abu Dhabi’s measure eased 0.05 percent.
Qatar’s index gained 0.2 percent, up for a third session since Monday’s 2013 low.
Shares in Doha Bank rose 1.2 percent. The lender’s first-quarter profit rose to 395 million riyals from 390 riyals a year ago.
Elsewhere, Egypt’s measure advanced 0.2 percent, as local retail investors bought small-caps.
Palm Hills Development rose 4.7 percent in heavy trade.