Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi stocks rose the most in more than a week, led by First Gulf Bank PJSC, as investors speculated earnings at the emirate’s second-largest lender will keep improving in the second half. Dubai’s main gauge advanced.
The ADX General Index added 0.4 percent, the most since July 31, to 4,943.20 at the close in the Emirate. FGB, which accounts for more than 25 percent of the gauge, gained as much as 2.5 percent before closing 0.6 percent higher. Dana Gas PJSC climbed 1.5 percent after it said shareholder Crescent Petroleum Co. won an arbitration ruling against National Iranian Oil Co. Dubai’s DFM General Index advanced 0.1 percent to 4,739.95.
“A decent set of second-quarter numbers from FGB, driven by a strong performance across all business segments, means the bank remains one of the preferred picks among investors in this sector,” Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding brokerage in Dubai, said by e-mail today. “The bank is expected to continue repeating its performance in the second half of the year.”
Earnings among United Arab Emirates banks are being buoyed by the nation’s economic growth, with expansion forecast to top 4.1 percent this year, according to the median estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. FGB said July 22 its second-quarter profit climbed 16 percent from a year earlier to 1.35 billion dirhams ($368 million), beating the mean estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The bank, controlled by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, rose to 18.10 dirhams today, bringing its gain this year to 25 percent, versus the 15 percent advance in the emirates’ benchmark index.
Dana rose to 70 fils, its first gain since Aug. 4. Crescent, which owns 19.08 percent of the Sharjah-based company, has won a Final Award for the merits phase of proceedings in relation to gas sales and a purchase contract with Iran’s NIOC, according to a Dana statement posted on Abu Dhabi stock market.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as Taqa, fell the most in the emirate, dropping 1.8 percent to close at 1.09 dirhams, the lowest since July 15. The energy company suspended its operations at the Atrush Block in Iraq’s Kurdish region because of “escalating instability,” it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Kurdish oil production is unaffected by fighting, even as some exploration activities in the region were temporarily halted, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ministry of natural resources said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The U.S. yesterday conducted four airstrikes against Islamic State militants who have taken over much of northern Iraq.
The Iraq Stock Exchange General Index slipped for a fifth day, falling 1.2 percent to close at 88.26, according to data posted on the bourse website. The benchmark gauge hasn’t registered a weekly gain since June. The yield on Iraq’s bond maturing in January 2028 climbed 29 basis points last week to 7.49 percent, the highest since March.
Dubai’s gauge recovered from early declines helped by gains in banking group Emirates NBD PJSC, which advanced 1.3 percent to 9.89 dirhams. Air Arabia PJSC gained 2.2 percent to 1.41 dirhams, the highest close since July 17, after it said second-quarter profit more than doubled.
Kuwait’s SE Price Index added 0.1. Kuwait Projects Co., an investment company with interests in banks, insurance, media and real estate, said it rejected a $3.2 billion offer from a U.S. private equity firm for a majority stake in pay-TV company OSN. Shares of Kipco, which owns 60.5 percent of OSN, closed unchanged.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.3 percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index slipped 0.4 percent and Muscat’s MSM 30 Index dropped 0.1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index was little changed.
Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 Index retreated 0.4 percent as annual inflation in the most-populous Arab country accelerated to 10.6 percent in July from 8.2 percent a month earlier. The government raised the price of fuel, electricity, tobacco and alcohol last month in an effort to cut the budget deficit.
Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index fell 0.2 percent to 1,383.26 at the close in Tel Aviv after the country resumed its military offensive in the Gaza Strip and Hamas vowed to continue fighting. Talks in Cairo for a longer-term agreement between Israeli and Palestinian delegations have stalled.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. tumbled 2.9 percent to 176.80 shekels after U.S.-traded shares declined on Friday. Hyderabad, India-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories filed for approval with U.S. authorities to make a generic version of Teva’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, the Israeli company said last week.
Israel’s benchmark 10-year bonds rose, with yields on the March 2024 securities dropping three basis points, or 0.03 of a percentage point, to 2.7 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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