Bloomberg News

Abu Dhabi Shares Drop Most in 3 Weeks on Earnings Speculation

January 09, 2012

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi stocks retreated the most in almost three weeks paced by Emirates Telecommunications Corp. on speculation fourth-quarter earnings may disappoint.

Emirates Telecommunications, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest telephone company known as Etisalat, decreased 1.3 percent. National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the country’s second- biggest bank by assets known as NBAD, dropped the most in almost 11 months. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index declined 1.1 percent, the most since Dec. 21, to 2,360.96 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index slipped 0.5 percent.

“There aren’t very big expectations from market participants for fourth-quarter results,” said Sebastien Henin, who helps oversee $100 million at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “Unless there is a major local catalyst, we expect markets to remain trading sideways.”

Etisalat, the company with the heaviest weighting on Abu Dhabi’s stock index, may report earnings on Feb. 9. The phone company’s fourth-quarter income may decline 5 percent from the year earlier to 1.91 billion dirhams ($520 million), according to an estimate by Beltone Financial Holding. Etisalat’s third- quarter profit fell 1 percent as expenses increased.

The company’s shares retreated 1.3 percent to 9.03 dirhams, the lowest level since Dec. 22. Last year, the stock slumped 15 percent, compared with a 12 percent decline in the general index. NBAD fell 3.7 percent to 10.45 dirhams today.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.4 percent and Qatar’s QE Index decreased 0.2 percent. Kuwait’s gauge lost 0.5 percent, Oman’s benchmark stock index declined 0.1 percent and Bahrain’s measure retreated 0.3 percent. The DFM General Index climbed less than 0.1 percent.

--Editors: Shanthy Nambiar, Claudia Maedler

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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