MIDEAST STOCKS-Lender ENBD earnings beat lifts Dubai, regional mkts gain
DUBAI, July 22
DUBAI, July 22 (Reuters) - Dubai's bluechip Emirates NBD surged on Monday after its quarterly earnings came in ahead estimates by a significant margin, helping lift the emirate's bourse to a new multi-year high, while most regional markets also gained.
Shares in ENBD, Dubai's biggest bank my market value, rose 6 percent to a four-week high. The stock is up 79.3 percent year-to-date.
"ENBD's loan growth has been healthy and net interest margins also improved," said Chiradeep Ghosh, equity analyst at Securities and Investment Firm (SICO) in Bahrain.
The lender made a net profit of 972 million dirhams ($265 million) in the second-quarter; a 50 percent year-on-year jump.
Five analysts polled by Reuters had forecast on average a profit of 783.8 million dirhams.
SICO estimates 2013 profit for the lender at 3.3 billion dirhams, which may be revised upwards.
Most analysts have a bullish outlook on the lender. Last year, ENBD reported an annual profit of 2.55 billion dirhams.
Dubai's gains were capped due to slight profit-taking; the measure climbed 0.2 percent to its highest level since November 2008 and up 57 percent year-to-date.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark rose for a 12 consecutive sessions, climbing 0.2 percent to a near five-year high.
Elsewhere, earnings also lifted investor sentiment on Doha's bourse. Shares in Qatar Navigation (Milaha) rose 3.1 percent to a six-week high after the firm reported a 30 percent increase in first-half net profit.
Qatar National Bank, the region's largest lender by market value, climbed 3.2 percent to a new all-time high.
Doha's index gained 1.2 percent, extending 2013 gains to 15.5 percent.
In Egypt, trading in bluechips strengthened as funds from Gulf aid boosted investor hopes of short-term stability in the country's finances.
Egypt received $2 billion in aid from Saudi Arabia, following $3 billion from UAE, which will help to shore up the country's foreign reserves and cover immediate subsidised food and fuel import costs.
"The key issue for Egypt right now aside from the political scene, is the money that is flowing in," said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. "The country needs it for a number of things but more importantly, to ensure the currency exchange is not further compromised and the economic deterioration is reigned in."
The Egyptian pound has slightly recovered from a record low since the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi. Currency depreciation concerns kept foreign investors away from the market, which have resumed buying.
"I'm bullish on the banking, food and energy sectors - the industry is slowly being rejuvenated and there is more money in the system," Darwish added.
On the political front, legal experts have started amending Egypt's constitution this week, which needs to be in place before parliamentary elections can take place; these were ordered by the army following its removal of Mohamed Mursi as president.
These developments have helped to reduce short-term investor concerns, with many of the belief the market will see a strong recovery when social and political stability returns.
Cairo's main benchmark index climbed 0.6 percent to a two-month high.
Commercial International Bank and EFG-Hermes rose 1.3 and 2 percent respectively. Orascom Telecom and Media added 3.8 percent.
Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's bourse gained 0.9 percent to hit a new 15-month high.
Heavyweight sectors of banks rose with its index up 1.2 percent. Most banks posted estimate-beating quarterly results in recent days.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 2,548 points.
* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 3,865 points.
* The index rose 1.2 percent to 9,653 points.
* The index rose 0.6 percent to 5,452 points.
* The index advanced 0.9 percent to 7,806 points.
* The index gained 0.6 percent to 8,036 points.
* The index eased 0.03 percent to 6,632 points.
* The index ended flat at 1,186 points.