DUBAI, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Most Gulf bourses closed higher on
Thursday amid earnings optimism, but Kuwait's market slipped to
a fresh seven-month low as political turmoil and weak banking
sector earnings weighed on investor sentiment.
In the United Arab Emirates, struggling developer Aldar
Properties said second-quarter net profit increased
three-fold, buoyed by delivery of 1,058 high-end residential
Share in Aldar, now near-majority owned by government fund
Mubadala after being thrown two financial lifelines by the
state, gained 1.6 percent to its highest close since March 28.
Abu Dhabi's measure rose 0.8 percent, up for a third
straight session to a near-four-month high.
In Dubai, real estate-linked stocks helped lift the index
. It climbed 1.1 percent, extending year-to-date gains
to 16.2 percent
Drake and Scull (DSI) jumped 2.2 percent, rallying
to a mid-April high ahead of its earnings. An average of three
analysts expect the contractor to post a profit of 46.7 million
dirhams for the three months to June 30.
Contractor Arabtec halted Wednesday's 4-percent
slide and trades flat. Investors sold the stock in the previous
session after the firm reported a quarterly loss on increased
"People are switching from Arabtec and other builders to
DSI, based on a consensus recommendation," said Talal Touqan,
head of equity research at Al Ramz Securities.
"Research houses were recommending selling Arabtec and
buying DSI for a while and this has been confirmed by the
results of Arabtec. The share price (of DSI) was way undervalued
when traded around 0.74 dirhams in early June."
Emaar Properties advanced 2.1 percent, extending
gains to 33 percent so far this year. There is sustained demand
for the stock after second-quarter earnings more than doubled.
In Qatar, the index hit a 10-week high, rising 0.2
"Volumes have improved and we're seeing an even mix of
institutional and retail investors," said Ahmed Shehada, head of
trading at QNB Financial Services. "Qatar's bluechips have
reported solid quarterly earnings and while the market shrugged
off the reportings, the value has always been embedded but a
catalyst was missing."
The market was predominantly retail investors in recent
weeks, with short-term retail traders targeting mid to small-cap
stocks. But upbeat sentiment in regional peers has brought
interest back to Doha's stock market, with
comparatively-attractive valuations acting as a draw, he added.
Qatar National Bank gained 1.4 percent, Qatar
Electricity and Water rose 1.6 percent and Barwa Real
Estate added 1.1 percent.
In Kuwait, the bourse slipped to a fresh seven-month low
with the index ending 0.2 percent lower at 5,699 points.
Trading volumes were thin on the bourse with investors risk
averse and sticking to the sidelines
The index is almost at the critical technical level of 5,694
points, the seven-and-a-half year low hit of Jan. 9.
Members of parliament again boycotted a session of the
country's assembly on Tuesday, foiling an attempt to swear in a
new cabinet and further highlighting the political travails
hampering the state.
Despite posting a 5.4-percent drop in second-quarter net
profit on Wednesday, Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained
Egypt's index slipped for a second successive day,
down 0.7 percent. Developer Talaat Moustafa, which on
Wednesday posted an 11-percent drop in H1 net income, slid 0.2
percent, following a 2.3-percent fall on the previous day.
* The index advanced 0.8 percent to 2,535 points.
* The index rose 1.1 percent to 1,572 points.
* The benchmark gained 0.2 percent to 8,416 points.
* The measure slipped 0.2 percent to 5,699 points.
* The benchmark slid 0.7 percent to 4,961 points.
* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 5,463 points.
* The measure gained 0.5 percent at 1,080 points.
(Editing by David French)