Etisalat shares pull Abu Dhabi bourse lower as telco goes ex-dividend

Abu Dhabi’s stock market fell in early trade on Tuesday as the largest listed stock, Etisalat, went ex-dividend, while investors sold other markets as they prepared for the first-quarter earnings season.

The telecommunications giant was down 2.5 per cent as the Abu Dhabi index fell 1.5 per cent.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 1.3 per cent to Dh6.6. In a note published by Kuwaiti research firm Global, analysts rated the stock a “buy” but cut the price target to Dh7.9 from Dh9.66.

“The stock is more favourably positioned compared to its peers in terms of its return on equity,” said the note. Global forecast a 5 per cent year-on-year drop in 2016 earnings for the bank, driven mainly by a substantial jump in provisions owing to the softening economic backdrop and ADCB’s exposure to small and medium-sized firms.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, headed for a second day of gains, rising 1.9 per cent. On Monday the shares jumped 13 per cent. Last week the energy company reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss.

Dubai’s index fell 1.0 per cent. Builder Arabtec and developer Union Properties were each down more than 1.0 per cent, erasing some of Monday’s gains.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.6 per cent, heading for a third straight session of declines. Oil rig provider Gulf International Services was the biggest loser, dropping 2.3 per cent.

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