Abu Dhabi leads most major Gulf markets higher in early trade

Most major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday, with aquaculture firm International Holding continuing to support the Abu Dhabi index.

The index increased 0.7 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country’s largest lender, rising 0.7 percent, whereas International Holding climbed over 1 percent, on track to extend gains for a fourth consecutive session.

International Holding posted 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.4 million) of profit in the first quarter compared with 112.2 million dirhams a year earlier.

The company’s board also approved acquiring stake in four companies through its units.

Elsewhere, telecoms firm Etisalat was up 0.5 percent.
The Abu Dhabi-based telecoms operator Etisalat is set to raise 1 billion euros ($1.22 billion) in dual-tranche bonds on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing a document from one of the
banks leading the deal.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.3 percent, with Jabal Omar Development, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest listed property developers, rebounding over 3 percent.

In the previous session, the developer retreated following a news report saying that the kingdom is considering barring overseas pilgrims from the annual haj for the second year running as COVID-19 cases rise globally and worries grow about the emergence of new variants.

In Dubai, the main share index rose 0.7 percent, buoyed by gains in property shares. Emaar Properties, Dubai’s biggest developer, advanced 1.8 percent, while its shopping center unit Emaar Malls traded 2.6 percent higher.

Dubai’s tourism chief last week said he was very optimistic business and leisure travelers would return this year, though the pandemic made it difficult to predict exactly how many.

In Qatar, the benchmark eased 0.1 percent, hit by a 0.8 percent fall in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

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