Abu Dhabi gains while financials dent Saudi index

The Abu Dhabi stock market rose 0.4% in early trade on Sunday, supported by gains in International Holding (IHC), while the Saudi Arabian index came under pressure from declines in financial stocks.
Conglomerate IHC rose 1.7%, having closed flat in the previous session after eight days of gains that started with the listing of of its Alpha Dhabi business, in which it holds a 45% stake.

Separately, the initial public offering (IPO) of Yahsat, the satellite company of Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, is set to raise 2.68 billion dirhams ($730 million) after the deal was priced around the middle of an indicative price range.

The benchmark Saudi index fell 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.6% and dairy business Almarai Company retreating by 2.5% after reporting second-quarter net profit down 25% year on year at 482 million riyals ($128.51 million).

The index’s losses were limited by gains at Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies, which surged by more than 4%, extending gains from the previous session.

Last week Jeddah municipality awarded the company a new 131.6 million riyal operation and maintenance contract.

Dubai’s main index fell 0.3%, hit by a 0.8% decline for Emirates NBD Bank and a 0.8% fall for sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

The Qatari index edged up 0.1%, with Qatar National Bank gaining 0.3%.

On Thursday the Gulf’s largest lender announced expansion in Asia with the opening of a branch in Hong Kong.

($1 = 3.7507 riyals)