DUBAI Jan 15 Upbeat earnings in Saudi Arabia
helped lift the market to a new five-year high on Wednesday,
while other regional shares also gained.
Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 2.9
percent to 88.5 riyals and trading volumes jumped to their
highest in three years after the firm beat analysts' forecasts
with an 8.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
The stock jumped to a seven-year intraday high of 90 riyals
but failed to break resistance from 88.50 and 89 riyals - the
peaks of November and August 2013 respectively.
Mobily cited the profit growth on increased revenue from
corporate customers along with data income.
"We believe the corporate segment will provide the next
phase of growth for Mobily with the segment expected to
contribute 28 percent of total revenues by 2018," Abdulelah
Babgi, analyst at NCB Capital, said in a note. "Moreover, Mobily
expects the revenue from the data segment to continue growing
and contribute 32 percent of the total revenues in 2014."
Small-cap Atheeb Telecom surged 9.7 percent after
Mobily's results. The latter is in talks with four shareholders
of Atheeb to buy their majority stake, with a deadline to secure
a deal of Jan. 30 fast approaching.
Samba Financial Group climbed 2.5 percent after
posting a fourth-quarter net profit rise of 15.8 percent
year-on-year, broadly in line with estimates.
The bank helped push the banking sector index 0.4
percent higher. However, it still underperformed against the
main index, which climbed 0.6 percent to its highest
close since September 2008.
In the United Arab Emirates, Aldar Properties rose
3.1 percent to 3 dirhams per share, its highest since June 2010,
after the Abu Dhabi Municipality said in a statement late on
Tuesday that it had registered land development contracts for
Aldar's residential units under freehold ownership, and the
deeds will be issued to owners.
"Aldar is the biggest government-owned property developer
(in Abu Dhabi) and it will always benefit when the government
wants to do something," said Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, senior
analyst at NBAD Securities.
Manibhandu also said the stock had been lagging its Dubai
peer Emaar Properties and was playing catch-up. His
target price for Aldar is 3.5 dirhams.
The Abu Dhabi Municipality did not give details of the
freehold arrangement or explain exactly how it differed from
other property rights in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark climbed 0.5 percent, up for a
first session since Monday's five-year high.
Dubai's measure advanced 0.3 percent to a fresh
five-year high. Builder Arabtec jumped 5.2 percent.
Elsewhere, Qatar National Bank slipped 2 percent
off of Tuesday's record high after the region's largest bank
posted earnings which slightly trailed estimates.
Other large-cap stocks gained, helping lift Doha's index
by 0.2 percent in its twelfth consecutive rise.
Elsewhere, Kuwait's index climbed 0.6 percent,
halting a three-session dip, while Oman's bourse added
0.3 percent, hovering just below Sunday's five-year high.
* The index advanced 0.6 percent to 8,745 points.
* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 4,465 points.
* The index gained 0.3 percent to 3,580 points.
* The index advanced 0.2 percent to 11,076 points.
* The index climbed 0.6 percent to 7,665 points.
* The index gained 0.3 percent to 7,156 points.
* The index edged up 0.03 percent to 7,199 points.
* The index gained 0.3 percent to 1,273 points.