UAE bourses drop as more firms report exposure to NMC Health

UAE bourses drop as more firms report exposure to NMC Health

The UAE stock markets remained under pressure and started the week on a negative note as both the bourses dropped in early trade on Sunday.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.1 per cent, hurt by a 0.6 per cent fall in telecom firm Etisalat.

Dubai's main share index also slipped 0.1 per cent. Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank lost 3.9 per cent after the bank confirmed that it (including its subsidiary Noor Bank) has combined exposure of $541 million (Dh2 billion) to debt-ridden NMC Healthcare.

The UAE Central Bank said on Sunday it had reduced banks' reserve requirements for demand deposits by 50 per cent to support the country's economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's stock market rose for a fourth straight session on Sunday after oil prices surged at the end of last week, while other major Gulf bourses were little changed in early trade.

Brent crude futures jumped 13.9 per cent, or $4.17 a barrel on Friday to settle at $34.11. Brent soared as much as 47 per cent on Thursday for its highest intraday percentage gain on record, closing up 21 per cent.

On Thursday, oil staged its largest one-day rally in history on prospects for a cut in supply equivalent to anywhere from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of world demand.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced one per cent in early trade, led by a 2.1 per cent rise in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 2.8 per cent increase in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries.

Meanwhile, Opec has scheduled an emergency meeting on Monday, led by Saudi Arabia, where cuts equal to 10 per cent of world supply - about 10 million barrels per day - could be agreed upon.

The Qatari index edged up 0.1 per cent, with Qatar Fuel Company adding 1.6 per cent and Mesaieed Petrochemical climbing 5.2 per cent.

Gains in Qatar's index were limited by shares in the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank, which dropped 1.9 per cent.

With inputs from Reuters