The Burj Khalifa skyscraper, left, stands above other skyscrapers on the city skyline, seen from Dubai Creek Harbour Development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. Dubai made a rare foray into public bond markets, revealing along the way that its debt burden is now a lot smaller than estimated by analysts only months ago. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Fall Most in Mideast as Earnings Roll In

Monitoring Desk

(Bloomberg) — Dubai stocks led losses in the Middle East as companies started reporting results across the region and the number of coronavirus cases surged.

Profitability for lenders in the Gulf Arab region remains under pressure, with disruptions to trade and travel continuing to rattle the energy-rich region. Qatar National Bank QPSC, the Middle East’s biggest lender, reported last week a 16% drop in net income for 2020. Some banks in Oman also published results that showed a decline from last year. Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ is expected to publish results Sunday.

The focus this week “will be on banks as they will be the first to report 4Q earnings in the United Arab Emirates,” said Harshjit Oza, head of research at Abu Dhabi-based International Securities. “We are expecting improved sequential performance in general for the sector.”

The DFM General Index dropped as much as 1.4%, with the biggest-listed lender Emirates NBD PJSC falling 1.3% and dragging the index down by the most. Equity gauges in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh lost 0.2% each, while those in Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar climbed as much as 0.3%.

Dividend-paying stocks will also be in the spotlight, Oza said, citing Abu Dhabi-based companies including Aldar Properties PJSC and First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

In Riyadh, phone operators Saudi Telecom, Mobily and Zain Saudi dropped between 0.3% and 0.6% after the kingdom fined them on several matters, including making promotional offers in violation of rulesMORE: Saudi NCB Hires Banks for Additional Tier 1 Dollar SukukQatar National Bank fell 0.3% in DohaQNB’s margin may still decline 4-6 basis points in 2021 versus a 12 basis-point drag last year, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Edmond Christou and Philip Richards write in a noteKuwait’s Premier Market Index rose less than 0.1%Kuwait’s long-term foreign currency debt rating affirmed by S&P Global Ratings at AA-, outlook remains negativeFinancial results:Sohar International Bank (BKSB OM) FY Profit 20m Rials, -42% Y/y; Est. 20.2mBank Dhofar (BKDB OM) FY Profit 30.6m Rials, +1.2% Y/y, Est. 29.0mRaysut Cement (RCCI OM) FY Loss 14m Rials vs. Profit 2.26m Y/yHSBC Bank Oman (HBMO OM) FY Loss 8.2m Rials vs. Profit 29.3m Y/y

Courtesy: Bloomberg

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