Gulf stock markets were mixed on Monday as most reopened after the New Year, with Oman falling after the release of an austere state budget for 2017. Egypt edged down although foreign investors remained net buyers of stocks.
Saudi Arabia›s index ended 0.1 percent higher to 7,247 points, but 0.7 Oman dropped 0.8 percent after the government released a 2017 budget plan on Sunday that projected a smaller deficit but included fresh austerity steps and tight curbs on spending because of low oil prices. Dubai’s index rose 0.2 percent as much activity focused on speculative stocks with prices below 1 dirham. Islamic Arab Insurance, the most heavily traded stock, rocketed 15 percent in its largest volume since April.
Abu Dhabi fell 0.3 percent, partly due to a 7.6 percent slide in Abu Dhabi National Energy.
Qatar edged down 0.1 percent. Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan dropped that much after saying it would suspend its brokerage business, Al Rayan Financial Brokerage Co. It said the brokerage›s paid-up capital represented just 0.06 percent of the bank›s total assets.
Oman Telecommunications lost 2.1 percent after tumbling 4.3 percent on Sunday in response to an increase in the royalty that it must pay the government. Rival Ooredoo Oman fell 2.0 percent
Bahrain listed its first sharia-compliant retail real estate investment trust, Eskan Bank Realty Income Trust. The REIT rose 7 percent in very thin trade.
In Egypt, the index pulled back 0.4 percent but exchange data showed non-Arab foreign investors remained net buyers of stocks by a small margin, continuing a streak that began with the floating of the Egyptian pound.
Dividend announcements drive Muscat bourse
Recovery on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) is expected to gather momentum, thanks to better dividend announcements of the corporate sector and a firm trend in crude oil prices.
Ooredoo net profit rises 4% to QR2.2bn in 2016
Driven by strong contributions from Qatar and certain other markets, the Ooredoo Group posted a net profit of QR2.2bn in 2016, up 4% on the previous year.
Group revenue stood at QR33bn, an improveme