Upbeat earnings lift Saudi stocks to 5-year high
Dubai, January 15, 2014
Estimate-beating earnings in Saudi Arabia helped lift the bourse to a new five-year high, while Egypt gained on the second day of the constitutional referendum.
Blue chip Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 3.2 percent after it beat analysts' forecasts with an 8.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
Banking shares also rose with the sector up 0.2 percent. Samba Financial Group climbed 1 percent after posting a fourth-quarter net profit rise of 15.8 percent year-on-year, which came in slightly below analysts' expectations.
The bank had flat growth in the last three quarters.
Shares in Saudi Cement gained 0.7 percent to a four-week high after the firm's fourth-quarter profit beat analyst forecasts.
Saudi Arabia's index advanced 0.4 percent to 8,735 points, its highest level since September 2008.
In Egypt, the benchmark index climbed 0.4 percent to 7,225 points, attempting for a second session to break the January 2011 peak of 7,248 points.
Shares in Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties hit a 42-month high after the emirate says foreigners can own property in designated investment zones on a freehold basis.
Abu Dhabi Municipality said in a statement late on Tuesday that Aldar had registered land development contracts for residential units under this arrangement.
Shares in Aldar jumped 4.5 percent to 3.03 dirhams, their highest level since July 2010, rising above the August 4 intra-day peak of 2.96 dirhams.
"Aldar is the biggest government-owned property developer (in Abu Dhabi) and it will always benefit when the government wants to do something," says Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, senior analyst at NBAD Securities. - Reuters