Financial Market

Major Gulf bourses track oil prices higher

Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Wednesday, in line with rising oil prices, with the Dubai index on track to extend gains for a second session.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial market, edged up on expectations that easing COVID-19 restrictions in China will push up demand and as industry data showed drawdowns in U.S crude inventories.

Dubai’s main share index gained 0.7%, led by a 1.7% rise in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 1.3% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties .

On Friday, Emaar posted a record profit of 2.24 billion dirham ($610 million) in the first quarter, as property sales surged 17%.

Analysts had expected a net profit of 1.06 billion dirhams, according to Refinitiv.

The Abu Dhabi index climbed 2.%, driven by a 1.1% rise in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank .

Separately, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its Austrian chemicals partner Borealis plan an initial public offering of their petrochemicals joint venture Borouge, the latest step in the Abu Dhabi state energy group’s asset monetisation programme.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.5%, while Riyad Bank advanced 4%.

The kingdom also posted a budget surplus of 57.49 billion riyal ($15.33 billion) for the first three months of 2022 on Sunday, bolstered by a 58% jump in oil revenue as prices surged.

On the other hand, Saudi Electricity slid about 5% after reporting a quarterly net profit of 1.52 billion riyals ($405.23 million), down from 1.69 billion riyals a year earlier.

In Qatar, the index gained 1.2%, as almost all the stocks on the index were in positive territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which was up 1.9%.

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7510 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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