World Economy

Most Mideast Bourse Down

Most Mideast Bourse DownMost Mideast Bourse Down

Construction firm Arabtec dragged down Dubai’s bourse on Sunday after missing third-quarter profit estimates, while Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) weighed on the kingdom’s market ahead of a discounted rights issue.

Dubai’s index fell 1.2 percent as Arabtec tumbled 5.9 percent. The firm reported a 32 percent drop in third-quarter net profit to 68.7 million dirhams ($18.7 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, Reuters said in a report.

Analysts at Global Investment House and SICO Bahrain had forecast it would make a quarterly profit of 113 million dirhams and 139.9 million dirhams respectively. Arabtec’s quarterly revenue was 2.4 billion dirhams, up from 1.94 billion a year earlier, but general and administrative expenses rose 89 percent to 241.6 million dirhams over the same period.

Arabtec shares climbed 11.5 percent last week as Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments raised its stake in the firm to 34.9 percent by buying shares held by former chief executive Hassan Ismaik, who abruptly resigned in June after differences of opinion with Aabar.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark edged up 0.2 percent, largely on the back of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which jumped 3.7 percent.

Shares in energy firm Dana Gas surged 4.8 percent after Egypt’s oil ministry said on Thursday it planned to repay all of its $4.9 billion debt to foreign oil and gas companies - Dana Gas among them - within six months.

Kuwait’s index fell 1.3 percent as most shares declined. The bourse on Sunday suspended trading in the shares of 18 companies that had failed to disclose third-quarter earnings in time.

That, along with the continuing decline in oil prices and profit-taking seen in the region’s major markets such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, has kept many investors from opening new positions in Kuwait, said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage services at Global Investment House in the country.

Boubyan Petrochemical Co slid 2.8 percent and Qurain Petrochemical Industries lost 1.8 percent. Last week, US petrochemicals giant Dow Chemical Co said it would sell off its stake in EQUATE, its joint venture with those two firms and the Kuwaiti government’s Petrochemical Industries Co.

Qatar’s index inched up 0.1 percent. Industries Qatar rose as much as 1.5 percent at one stage but turnover was light and the stock shied away from major technical resistance at 198.00-202.90 riyals, this year’s peaks. It closed up 1.0 percent at 196.70 riyals.

Saudi Arabia’s main index fell 1.3 percent. Shares in Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) were among the main drags after Ma’aden said on Sunday that the subscription period for its 5.6 billion riyal ($1.5 billion) rights issue would start on Tuesday and trading in the rights opened.

The bourse cut Ma’aden’s share price by 7.5 percent from last Thursday’s closing to reflect the dilution; the price then dropped 2.9 percent to 32.30 riyals during the session.

At 23 riyals per share, the rights offer price is much cheaper than the market price, so some investors were tempted to sell in the market and buy back via the rights.