0740 GMT - Abu Dhabi's Etisalat helps lift the
emirate's bourse after the Gulf's No.2 telco posted
above-forecast earnings and said it may up its stake in Saudi
Mobily, while most Gulf markets are near-flat in muted
Shares in Etisalat rise 1 percent, reaching their highest
level since July 12.
The company reported a second-quarter net profit of 1.9
billion dirhams ($517.30 million), up 17 percent on a year ago
and above analyst estimates.
Chief executive Ahmad Julfar told Reuters the company may
increase its holding in Saudi Arabia's operator Mobily
Abu Dhabi's bourse rises 0.3 percent to 2,471 points,
trading within a 35-point range in July.
"Any break of the resistance level at 2,479 should help the
index continue towards 2,510 in the near-term," says Amjad
Bakir, head of MENA CORP securities. "Any close below 2,444
should bring the index further down towards 2,420."
In Dubai, the bourse is little changed in thin volumes.
Emaar Properties ticks up 0.3 percent.
Elsewhere, Qatar and Oman's also trade flat.
0540 GMT - A thin local news flow combined with a summer
trading lull is likely to keep Gulf investors on the sidelines
on Thursday, although hopes for a U.S. stimulus could help lift
Abu Dhabi's Etisalat told Reuters the telecom
operator may raise its holding in Saudi Arabia affiliate Mobily
The former monopoly - the UAE's largest listed firm - also
announced a second-quarter net profit of 1.9 billion dirhams
($517.30 million), up 17 percent on a year ago and above analyst
estimates. Etisalat's shares are only open to UAE nationals, so
there may not be much reaction in Thursday's trade.
Dubai's Aramex will also be in focus after the
courier reported a 17 percent rise in second-quarter profit,
which came in at 64.4 million dirhams.
Elsewhere, Egypt's financial regulator has suspended a joint
venture deal between Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes
and Qatar's Q-Invest, approved by shareholders on June
EFG and QInvest sealed an agreement in May to form a
joint-venture, in which state-backed QInvest would hold 60
Gulf Arab markets fell in slim trade on Wednesday as
investors, focused on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and
escaping the region's searing summer heat, stayed away and
global cues failed to inspire buying.
Sentiment on world markets remains cautious, although bargain
hunters have lifted Asian shares on Thursday after recent sharp
drops as hopes grew for more U.S. stimulus to support growth and
new European policy measures to keep the euro zone debt woes
Brent crude had fallen 50 cents to $103.88 per
barrel by 0530 GMT, while U.S. crude was down 42 cents at
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams)
(Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Matt Smith)