Qatar, Kuwait stock markets outperform in mixed region

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DUBAI: Qatar’s stock market rose on Wednesday as local institutional investors chased shares left behind in the bourse’s latest rally, while rises in second-tier speculative stocks boosted Kuwait.
The Qatari index climbed 0.8 percent as real estate firm Ezdan Holding, which had been trading near two-month lows, surged 3.9 percent. Gulf Warehousing added 1.4 percent.
Industries Qatar rose in early trade but closed flat after reporting annual net profit of 3.32 billion riyals ($ 912 million), up from 2.96 billion riyals in 2016, and lifting its proposed annual cash dividend back to 5 riyals per share from 4 riyals.
Exchange data showed local institutional investors were once again net buyers of Qatari stocks by a considerable margin.
Kuwait’s broad index surged 1.6 percent as speculative stocks such as Real Estate Asset Management Co. , which soared 20 percent, and Human Soft, which added 9.8 percent. The index of 15 blue chips posted a much smaller rise of only 0.3 percent.
Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent as telecommunications firm Mobily plunged 7.1 percent after the company reported its fourth-quarter net loss more than doubled from a year earlier to 181.7 million riyals ($ 48.45 million) on declining customer numbers. The loss was in line with analysts’ estimates.
In Dubai, the index fell 0.2 percent as GFH Financial slipped 2.2 percent after reporting annual net profit roughly halved and that its board cut the proposed annual cash dividend to 8.7 percent from 10 percent for 2016.
But builder Arabtec added 2.9 percent after swinging to an annual net profit of 123.1 million dirhams ($ 33.5 million) from a year-earlier loss of 3.41 billion dirhams, roughly in line with analysts’ expectations.
Courier firm Aramex rose 2.3 percent to 4.50 dirhams but came well off the day’s high after failing a test of technical resistance at its January peak of 4.55 dirhams.
It had jumped 7.3 percent on Tuesday after reporting a 25 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 165 million dirhams ($ 45.0 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s estimate of 115 million dirhams.

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