Most Gulf stock markets ended lower on Tuesday, tracking a retreat in global peers on fears of slowing economic growth, with only the Saudi index bucking the trend.
In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 2.5%, falling the most in the region, dragged down by a 3% slide in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Separately, Abu Dhabi-headquartered petrochemicals firm Borouge said on Monday it secured seven cornerstone investors, including India’s wealthy Adani family, for its $2 billion initial public offering.
Gulf oil producers are following in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi with plans to raise tens of billions of dollars through sales of stakes in energy assets, capitalising on a rebound in crude prices to attract foreign investors.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.5%, ending three sessions of losses, helped by a 1.7% rise in oil behemoth Saudi Aramco.
The Saudi stock market inched higher after month-long price corrections as investors returned to buying, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst of XTB MENA.
“The market is benefiting from the positive economic forecasts for the country and could see traders snap up buying opportunities.”
Dubai’s main share index retreated 1.5%, hit by a 3.2% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.5% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.
The Qatari index fell 0.4%, with the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank losing 1%.
Shares in the region lost ground in recent weeks amid anxiety about fast-rising inflation that will drive a sharp increase in interest rates and put global economic growth at risk.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index was down 1%, weighed down by a 3.5% decline in Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronic Payment.
According to Mourad, an atmosphere of caution remained and the market could see some increases if international investors return to buy the dip.
SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.5% to 12,301
ABU DHABI lost 2.5% to 9,472
DUBAI down 1.5% to 3,259
QATAR eased 0.4% to 12,875
EGYPT dropped 1% to 10,416
BAHRAIN fell 0.2% to 1,890
OMAN down 0.3% to 4,120
KUWAIT retreated 2.2% to 8,341