Sharjah makes headway as banks brace themselves

Bank stocks in Abu Dhabi rise but overall market sentiment remains negative.

The bank's shares were in focus yesterday.
Powered by automated translation

Sharjah Islamic Bank led a gain in the banking sector yesterday as investors began positioning themselves before the release of fourth-quarter results.

The bank, which has already reported its fourth-quarter results, rose 2.13 per cent to 96 fils. Among stocks that rose, it was the most traded in Abu Dhabi.

Banks were among the only shares to gain yesterday, as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank also rose 0.66 per cent to Dh3.05, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank edged up 1.48 per cent to Dh2.06 and First Gulf Bank closed 1.46 per cent higher at Dh17.40.

But concern over Aldar Properties's funding framework continued to drag on the stock. It closed 1.49 per cent down at Dh1.98, approaching a historic low of Dh1.96.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.04 per cent to 2,682.64 and the Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 0.32 per cent to 1,604.14 points.

"Investors are standing on the cliff," said Amjad Bakir, a trading manager at Wafa Financial Services. "All they need is a little bit of bad news to push prices to new lows."

Elsewhere, Egypt's main measure extended a downward trend, during which it has slumped 6.3 per cent in almost two weeks amid political turmoil in the region. Egypt's benchmark EGX 30 index slipped 0.02 per cent to 6,696.88.

Kuwait's measure gained 0.64 per cent to 6,940.10 points; Bahrain gained 0.78 per cent to 1,434.00 points; Oman increased 0.27 per cent to 7,005.30 and Qatar dropped 1.47 per cent to 8,931.94 points. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index gained 0.6 per cent to 6,692.31.