Banking shares help Gulf markets edge up; Egypt extend losses

Arabian Centres, the Saudi mall operator, on Wednesday obtained $1.4 billion in Shariah-compliant financing facilities with a syndicate of banks. (Reuters)
Updated 21 November 2019

Banking shares help Gulf markets edge up; Egypt extend losses

  • Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent supported by Emirates NBD and Emaar Malls

DUBAI: Bank stocks helped support markets in the UAE on Wednesday, while Egypt’s blue-chip index extended losses for a third straight session.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent supported by Emirates NBD and Emaar Malls, which were up 0.4 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.

Air Arabia closed up 1.4 percent, stretching its winning streak to a third day. On Monday, the budget airline announced an order for 120 Airbus A320neo-family jets in a deal worth about $14 billion.

However, the market’s gains were capped by losses at real estate sector with Arabtec Holding falling 4.7 percent, the biggest loser on the index. 

On Friday, the contractor swung to a third quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index was also up 0.1 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.3 percent and International Holding Co. (IHC) soaring 8.9 percent, its biggest intraday gain since mid-October. 

On Tuesday, IHC called off an acquisition of SHUAA Capital International. 

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose marginally to close up 0.1 percent as Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.7 percent and Savola Group climbed 3 percent.

Arabian Centres advanced 2 percent. The Saudi mall operator obtained $1.4 billion in Shariah-compliant financing facilities with a syndicate of banks.

The Qatari index traded flat with financial shares and petrochemical stocks moving sideways.

Qatar International Islamic Bank slid 3.2 percent, while Mesaieed Petrochemical gained 1.2 percent. 

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index lost 0.6 percent.

The country’s largest lender, Commercial International Bank, dropped 1.6 percent and Madinet Nasr was down 2.2 percent. However, the index received some support from Eastern Company, which rose 0.9 percent.


Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

Updated 04 August 2020

Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

  • Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations

OAKLAND, California: Alphabet’s Google Cloud unit is poised for a surge in fourth-quarter sales from US retailers, as they brace for record online shopping during the holidays because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations. As fees are often pegged to site traffic, a jump in activity will drive up revenue for the unit.
Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer at Google Cloud, said that her team had this year tossed out its linear growth model to predict how many servers it will need to process web orders for retailers around Black Friday.
“We’re planning for peak on top of peak,” she said on Monday. That could be a boon for Google Cloud, which has generated about 30 percent of its revenue during the fourth quarter the last two years.
Stores such as Kohls Corp. and Wayfair Inc. lean on Google months in advance to ensure it has enough servers to withstand increased shopping during holiday discount days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November and December.
This year, Black Friday-style demand has flooded shops since March, when the United States began lockdowns, Tharp said.
Holiday shopping is expected to boost demand further, as retailers including Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. have said they will reduce in-store hours because of coronavirus concerns.
Tharp said the pandemic has already benefitted Google Cloud, with some retailers adopting its predictive algorithms years ahead of plan to help them work out the most efficient way of fulfilling orders.
Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., for instance, announced on Tuesday a multi-year deal to centralize customer and product data with Google Cloud to improve its loyalty program and online ad campaigns.
The companies declined to elaborate on the deal, but Tharp said she hopes it leads to Google eventually powering Best Buy’s web ordering system.