Gulf stocks dragged down by rout across global markets

The Saudi stock index fell by 1.6 percent with declining stocks outnumbering gainers by 169 to 13. (Reuters)
Updated 07 February 2018

Gulf stocks dragged down by rout across global markets

DUBAI: Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Tuesday because of the global downturn in equities.
But the region outperformed emerging markets in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan plunged 3.6 percent.
Because of low oil prices and poor liquidity, the Gulf greatly underperformed the uptrend in global emerging markets last year, so fund managers said it may be less prone to profit-taking and have less distance to fall on the way down.
The Saudi stock index fell 1.6 percent with declining stocks outnumbering gainers by 169 to 13. Cement shares continued to pull back after big gains last week, with Jouf Cement down 3.3 percent.
Mediterranean & Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance fell a further 5 percent, having lost almost 10 percent on each of the previous two days. The Capital Market Authority has said it might suspend or cancel trade in the stock following the central bank’s decision to prohibit the firm from issuing or renewing policies pending a capital increase.
But the biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, rose 0.7 percent. It reported a fourth-quarter net profit of SR2.56 billion ($683 million), up from SR2.29 billion a year ago. SICO Bahrain had forecast SR2.16 billion.
PetroRabigh added a further 3.1 percent after soaring 9.9 percent on Monday, when it reported a leap in fourth-quarter net profit.
Dubai’s index fell 1.5 percent as losing stocks outnumbered gainers by 32 to three. Abu Dhabi’s index sagged 0.9 percent.
In Qatar, the index lost 2.1 percent. Salam International Investment, the most heavily traded stock, closed 3.2 percent lower, far off its intra-day low. It had plunged by its 10 percent daily limit on Monday, when it posted an annual net loss of 89.9 million riyals ($24.7 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 119.7 million riyals.
Egypt’s index lost 1.6 percent but exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of strocks, by a modest margin.


New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

Updated 27 January 2020

New Delhi to sell full stake in debt-ridden Air India

  • The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel
  • Formerly India’s monopoly airline, carrier was once known affectionately as the ‘Maharaja of the skies’

MUMBAI: New Delhi intends to sell its entire stake in the debt-crippled national carrier Air India, the government announced Monday, after failing previously to secure any bids for a majority share.
The airline, which owes more than $8 billion, has been struggling to pay salaries and buy fuel, with officials recently warning that it would have to shut down unless a buyer was found.
On Monday the civil aviation ministry released a document inviting bids for a 100 percent stake, setting March 17 as the deadline for initial submissions.
Potential buyers would have to assume around $3.26 billion in debt, the document said.
The government was forced in 2018 to shelve plans to sell a 76 percent stake in Air India after failing to attract any bidders.
India’s Tata Group, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and IndiGo were all linked to a takeover but subsequently ruled themselves out.
Founded in 1932 and formerly India’s monopoly airline, the company was once known affectionately as the “Maharaja of the skies.”
But it has been hemorrhaging money for more than a decade and has lost market share to low-cost rivals in one of the world’s fastest-growing but most competitive airline markets.
In November aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said the airline would “have to close down if it is not privatized.”
State-run oil companies halted fuel supplies to Air India in August after it fell behind on payments, though the firms agreed to lift the suspension a month later after talks brokered by the government.
The country’s aviation sector has been stuck in a slump since the collapse of Jet Airways last year.