April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index advanced the most in more than two weeks after company earnings in Saudi Arabia beat expectations, boosting demand for Persian Gulf assets.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates third-biggest bank by assets, gained 1.3 percent. Sorouh Real Estate Co., which may post a 24 percent increase in first-quarter earnings, advanced the most in more than a week. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index rose 0.3 percent, the most since April 1, to 2,513.01 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index gained 0.1 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index was little changed today after surging 3.2 percent yesterday.
“Earnings in Saudi Arabia have lifted sentiment here as investors await first-quarter results of the heavy-weight companies,” said Ziad Dabbas, a financial analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the U.A.E.’s second-biggest bank by assets.
Companies in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council have started announcing first-quarter results. Saudi Arabia’s gauge advanced the most in more than a year yesterday after first-quarter profit at Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker, exceeded analysts’ estimates.
Abu Dhabi Commercial may report a 5 percent increase in first-quarter profit to 612 million dirhams ($167 million), according to the median estimate of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg. The shares gained the most since April 3 to 3.23 dirhams.
Sorouh, Abu Dhabi’s second-biggest developer, advanced 0.9 percent, the most since April 10, to 1.11 dirhams. The company’s quarterly net income may increase to 80 million dirhams, the median estimate of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg shows.
Oil for May delivery earlier increased as much as 0.3 percent to $104.51 in New York after the International Monetary Fund boosted its growth outlook and a Spanish debt sale raised more than planned, easing concern an economic slowdown will curb crude demand. The contract was down 0.4 percent at 4:40 p.m. in Dubai. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index advanced 0.2 percent. Gulf Arab oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Kuwait’s Stock Exchange Price Index rose 0.5 percent, Bahrain’s BB All Share Index advanced 0.8 percent, and Oman’s MSM 30 Index climbed 0.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index was little changed. The DFM General Index fell 0.4 percent after earlier rising as much as 0.5 percent.
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