January 27, 2020 / 7:36 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Poor earnings weigh on UAE indexes; Saudi trades flat

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates fell on Monday, hurt by a host of disappointing corporate earnings, while Saudi traded flat as energy and real estate shares moved sideways.

The Abu Dhabi index declined 0.8% as First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country’s largest lender, retreated 1.1% ahead of its board meeting to approve financials. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 1.5% on weak fourth-quarter earnings and a lower annual dividend.

The bank recorded a net profit of 1.05 billion dirhams for the three months to Dec. 31, down from 1.24 billion a year earlier.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank recommended a full-year cash dividend of 0.38 dirham per share compared with 0.46 dirham a year ago.

In Dubai, the index eased 0.5% with top lender Emirates NBD shedding 1.1% as it reported a 15% fall in fourth-quarter net profit, which it blamed on higher impairment charges.

Its net profit for the quarter to Dec. 31 fell to 2.02 billion dirhams ($550 million) from 2.39 billion a year earlier.

Dubai Islamic Bank lost 0.7% and logistic firm Aramex was down 1.4%.

Qatar’s index slipped 0.2%, weighed down by a 0.5% fall in Qatar National Bank and lender Masraf Al Rayan down 0.7%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index traded flat with oil producer Saudi Aramco losing 0.4% and Dar Al Arkan opening up 1.2%.

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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