Gulf shares lower as investors book profit

Most Gulf bourses were weak in early trade on Wednesday as investors booked profits, while Saudi Arabia’s index edged up.

Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Petrochemical surged 3.5 per cent after the company announced plans to increase its share capital by 20 per cent to support future growth. The company also said it recommended distributing a cash dividend of 0.75 Saudi riyal per share for the first quarter.

“We expect the company will distribute 3.0 riyals per share for 2016. If annualised, the dividend yield will be 6 per cent,” said a note by NCB Capital. The range of dividend yields is between 4 and 9 per cent for Saudi petrochemical producers, according to Reuters data.

Banking shares also outperformed the market, with heavyweights Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank adding 0.5 and 0.2 per cent respectively.

The overall market index was up 0.1 per cent after an hour of trade.

Dubai’s index failed to hold onto early gains as investors booked profits in small and mid-sized companies. Builder Drake & Scull dropped 1.1 per cent.

But Islamic insurer Takaful Emarat rose 2.6 per cent in unusually high volume.

Dubai Parks and Resorts edged up 0.8 per cent. Wednesday is the final day of trade in its rights issue, which will increase its share capital to Dh8 billion.

Abu Dhabi’s index dipped 0.2 per cent amid a sell-off in mid-sized property-related shares such as Eshraq Properties and RAK Properties, which were down 2.6 and 3.3 per cent respectively.

Doha’s index edged down 0.3 per cent as Qatar National Bank fell 0.5 per cent.

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