Major Gulf bourses retreat; Aramco leads Saudi higher after reaffirming dividends



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Major Gulf bourses retreat; Aramco leads Saudi higher after reaffirming dividends

On Sunday, a basket of Gulf bourses had rounded off the session in red inks with Egypt’s blue-chip index spanning its latest leg of losses in to a straight fifth session, however, Saudi’s main index managed to close out higher after the Kingdom’s state-backed oil giant Aramco had pledged to offer dividends despite a sharp plunge in net profits in a pandemic-battered fiscal 2020.

On top of that, Aramco’s earnings’ report for 2020 had also underscored a rapid recovery in crude oil demands this year which might ascend as many as 99 million bpd (barrels per day) by Spring, stepping up investors’ optimism in Saudi’s Tadawul bourse.

Major Gulf bourses end lower, Aramco leads Saudi higher

In point of fact, in the day’s gloomier outlook in major Gulf bourses had largely echoed a steep sell-off wave in global equity market on Friday, as a number of major economies in the 26-member euro zone had been witnessing a third wave of the pandemic outbreak, forcing France to re-impose stiffer lockdown measures on 16 regions grievously hurt by the country’s latest epidemic, while US equity indices ended lower on frets of a higher inflation alongside an accommodative policy measure from US Fed, highlighting the likelihoods of an inevitable fall in growth stocks.

Citing statistics, in the day’s Gulf market closure, Saudi’s benchmark index added 0.1 per cent, snapping a two-session long streak of losses, with Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Aramco rising 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

However, earlier in the day, Aramco had reported a nearly 45 per cent plunge in net profits last year, though, had promised to offer dividends amid a likely boom in global crude oil demands, shoring up market participants’ optimism.

Nonetheless, Dubai’s main index dwindled as much as 0.8 per cent, mostly heaved down by a 2.5 per cent plunge in shares’ prices of Real-Estate mogul Emaar Properties, while Abu Dhabi’s main index dipped 0.2 per cent with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank jolting as much as 0.5 per cent.

UAE’s Central Bank said in a report later last week that the Emirati nation’s economy had contracted by 5.8 per cent last year, however, was expected to register a growth of 2.5 per cent in fiscal 2021. Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s main index shed 1.1 per cent with 27 out of 30 blue-chip stocks failing to wrap up in the black.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatari bourse drooled as much as 0.9 per cent with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar and Qatar International Islamic Bank shrugging off nearly 1.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.