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Gulf markets in turmoil; Tadawul the biggest loser

Stock markets around the Gulf were in a state of panic today, as all bar Muscat and Bahrain declined. While other markets suffered random selling – and the Tadawul in Saudi Arabia declined sharply - Muscat rose on the back of the government's sale of 25% of Omantel's shares.

All the Saudi market’s gains over the last two months were lost today, after the index declined by 2.3%. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) fell 0.81%, Doha 0.48%, Dubai 0.41% and Kuwait 0.18%. Bahrain closed unchanged.

Tadawul back to April mark

Despite the record profits announced by Safco, which climbed by 125% for the first half of the year, the Saudi market witnessed a wave of selling today, wiping out all its gains from the last two months.

Across the index, prices for 103 companies declined, with only 12 rising. This included Jareer, which rose 0.65% following a 22% rise in H1 profits, to reach SR164m compared to SR134m last year.

All 15 listed sectors declined except the hotel sector, which rose slightly. All leading shares fell sharply, including Safco, which fell by 0.50% to SR257 from SR267.5.

Sabic suffered the biggest decline, falling 3% to SR137, its lowest price since the beginning of the year. The banking sector also witnessed a decline, including Riyad Bank which fell sharply by 4.1% despite its strong H1 profits.

Foreign sales on DFM highest since the start of the year

UAE markets declined sharply for the fourth session, with foreign sales rising and pushing Emaar to its lowest price at Dhs10.15, declining by 1.4%.

Only four shares rose on the DFM – Emirates NBD, Du, Shuaa, and Dubai Ice Company, while another 20 declined. Air Arabia fell below Dhs1.70, down 3.4% and Amlak lost all gains achieved yesterday, falling 2.4% to Dhs5.54.

According to the DFM, foreign transactions have hit record trading during the current year, trading Dhs515.6m, representing 59.5% of the total market trading of Dhs865.8m.

Speculation led the ADX into decline, as it fell below 5,000 points amid fears that it might decline more tomorrow. Aghthya and Fujierah both declined by their maximum limit of 10%. Abaar declined by 5%, after its 10% maximum decline yesterday.

Kuwait falls for ninth session

After eight straight sessions of positive growth, the Kuwait Stock Exchange has now fallen for nine sessions in a row.

Agility record the biggest decline of 5.1% to KD1.100, despite the company announcing that it has won an $8.6m deal with the US Air Force. Hits Telecom rose by 1.4%, following the company’s announcement that it has acquired Spanish firm Metron Telecom, in a deal worth 7m euro.

Doha: Only three shares rise

Qatar Industries and the banking sector led the decline on the Doha market, amid mounting fears that the index might decline below 12,000 points.

Thirty-one shares declined, while only three rose.

Qatar Industries fell 0.33%, despite EFG Hermes expectation that the company will see a 35% increase in profits. Al Khaliji bank also fell, by 1.1% and QIB by 1.2%.

Muscat receives support from Omantel

The Muscat market rose for second day, following the sale of 25% Omantel shares to a strategic investor.

Omantel traded OR4.3m out of OR18.9m, rising by 2.1% to OR2.442.
Other leading shares rose too, including Al Anwar Holding by 3.6% and Julfar Engineering by 1.5%, while Muscat Bank fell by 0.96% to OR1.861.

Bahrain: Global ups stake in Al Salam Bank

The Bahrain stock market remained unchanged today, while Al Salam Bank’s share rose 2.2%, after a declining for the two previous sessions, following unsatisfactory, lower profits.

Global announced that it has increased its stake in Al Salam Bank by 5.1% and so now owns 62.2 million shares. Meanwhile Bandaer’s share rose by its maximum allowable 10%, trading 2.9 million shares.