Saudi far outperforms Gulf, rate hopes boost Egypt

Saudi traders look at monitors showing the movement of the stock market at a bank in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Saudi far outperforms Gulf, rate hopes boost Egypt

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Thursday, encouraged by strong global bourses and a slight rebound in oil prices, while hopes for an interest rate cut boosted Egypt. But much of the Gulf was sluggish because of mediocre corporate earnings.
The Saudi index gained 1.2 percent in a broad rally; gainers outnumbered losers by 140 to 39. Al Rajhi Bank added 2.9 percent in its second heaviest trading volume this year.
Saudi Investment Bank rose 2.9 percent after saying it would pay an annual dividend of 0.6 riyal per share, up from 0.5 riyal for 2016.
But telecommunications firm Mobily, which had plunged 7.1 percent on Wednesday after reporting its fourth-quarter net loss more than doubled, dropped a further 2.3 percent.
In Dubai, the index edged down 0.2 percent as DAMAC Properties, which on Wednesday revealed a 47 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit, lost 1.2 percent.
The biggest real estate firm, Emaar Properties, slipped 0.3 percent after it reported a 16 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to 1.36 billion dirhams ($370.3 million), below SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 1.61 billion dirhams.
Union Properties edged down 0.1 percent after reporting an annual loss of 2.38 billion dirhams ($649 million) against a year-ago profit of 211.4 ‍​million dirhams; the figures implied a fourth-quarter loss of roughly 90 million dirhams.
In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.3 percent as telecommunications firm Etisalat fell 0.6 percent. It posted a 12 percent fall in quarterly profit to 1.97 billion dirhams, while SICO Bahrain had forecast 2.21 billion dirhams.
Aldar Properties dropped 3.1 percent after reporting a 28 percent decline in full-year profit attributable to owners, partly because of a one-time charge of 495 million dirhams. The company raised its annual dividend to 12 fils per share from 11 fils in 2016.
Qatar’s index fell 0.4 percent as Mesaieed Petrochemical lost 1.4 percent, despite reporting a slight rise in annual profit and a hike in its dividend to 0.7 riyal per share from 0.6 riyal.
In Egypt, the index rose 1.1 percent as real estate developer SODIC surged 7.0 percent. Economists predicted the central bank would start a gradual easing of moentary policy at its meeting after the close on Thursday, thanks to falling inflation rates.


US to formally seek extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

Updated 8 min 54 sec ago
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US to formally seek extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

  • Canada’s ambassador to the US did not say when the formal extradition request will be made but the deadline for filing it is Jan. 30
  • Huawei said it has no comment on the ongoing legal proceedings

The United States has informed the Canadian government that it plans to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on allegations violation of US sanctions against Iran, the Globe and Mail reported on Monday.
However, Canada’s ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton, in an interview, did not say when the formal extradition request will be made but the deadline for filing it is Jan. 30, according to the Globe and Mail.
Huawei said it has no comment on the ongoing legal proceedings, while the US Justice Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru, Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong and Karen Freifeld in Washington; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)