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Middle East & Africa


Abu Dhabi, Oman edge up, supported by banks DUBAI: Bourses in Abu Dhabi and Oman edged up in early trade on Thursday on the back of banking sector earnings and dividends, while other Gulf markets were weaker and news from the telecommunications sector was disappointing.Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.3 percent as shares in major lender First Gulf Bank jumped 2.3 percent. The bank posted on Wednesday a 13 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 1.55 billion dirhams ($422 million); analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 1.37 billion dirhams.However, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which also beat estimates with a 28 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, fell 1.5 percent. NBAD warned investors it was expecting a tougher 2015 as lower oil prices hit economic growth and increasing competition squeezes profit margins.Oman's largest lender, Bank Muscat, gained 1.0 percent after its board proposed a cash dividend of 25 percent, an additional 15 percent payout through an issue of ...

Kenyan shilling opens weaker on importer dollar demand NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling weakened on Thursday on dollar demand from importers but tight liquidity in the money markets was cushioning the shilling from falling further, traders said.At 0751 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 91.70/80 to the dollar, from Wednesday's close of 91.55/65."Today there's major (dollar) demand," Ian Kahangara, trader at National Bank of Kenya, said.Payments for Treasury bills and bonds last week caused a shortage of the local currency, supporting the shilling.A ...
Saudi Arabia pulls back but property firms strong DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's stock market edged down in early trade on Thursday after posting strong gains this week, while Egypt's bourse was almost flat.The main Saudi index fell 0.5 percent as many stocks which had led gains in the last few days pulled back. Petrochemicals major Saudi Basic Industries fell 2.0 percent and Samba Financial Group lost 1.7 percent.But others extended gains, such as property firm Dar Al Arkan, whose shares surged 7.9 percent to ...
Egypt allows pound to weaken to new low of 7.49 per dollar CAIRO: Egypt's pound weakened to 7.49 per dollar, from 7.46 at yesterday's sale, at a central bank auction on Thursday, the weakest level it has been allowed to reach since auctions began in December 2012.The bank offered 40 million dollars and sold 38.4 million at a cut-off price of 7.4901 pounds per dollar, the central bank said.The rates at which banks are allowed to trade dollars are determined by the results of central bank sales, ...
South African stocks rise, retailer Clicks touches all-time high JOHANNESBURG: South African stocks advanced for a third straight session on Wednesday, with health and beauty retailer Clicks Group hitting a record high powered by higher sales over Christmas.The Clicks Group, which includes Body Shop and music store Musica, said in a trading update that sales for the 20 weeks to January 2015 rose 14 percent to 8.2 billion rand ($713 million).Shares in Clicks closed 5.39 percent higher at 91.89 rand after earlier rising to ...
Saudi Arabia rallies on as oil pares losses DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's stock market gained strongly for a second straight day on Wednesday as oil prices rebounded from the day's lows, reinforcing a growing perception among investors that they have found a floor.Brent crude fell early on Tuesday after an industry report said U.S. crude stocks rose by the most in two decades last week. But it had largely recovered and traded above $49 per barrel by the time the Saudi bourse closed.The main ...
Saudi Arabia extends gains, Egypt pulls back DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday on the back of banks and petrochemicals, while Egypt's bourse retreated from a multi-year high.The main Saudi index added 1.5 percent as shares in Samba Financial Group surged 7.5 percent and were the main support. Two brokerages, EFG Hermes and Global, identified the stock this week as offering good value and being well positioned for the expected US interest rate increase.Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,214.42 0.06
Arrow Nasdaq 4,987.89 0.42
Arrow S&P 2,110.74 0.15
Arrow FTSE 6,949.73 0.21
Arrow DAX 11,327.19 1.04
Arrow CAC-40 4,910.62 0.58
Arrow Nikkei 18,785.79 1.08
Arrow H.Seng 24,902.06 0.50
Arrow Sensex 28,746.65 0.90

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln