July 18, 2019 / 7:52 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi shares surge 4% thanks on FAB's strong earnings

July 18 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi stocks leapt 4% on Thursday, their biggest intra-day gain in nearly four months, led higher by the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) which surged 6.5% on strong second-quarter earnings.

Similarly shares in Dubai bank Emirates NBD rose 3.5% thanks to positive quarterly results, leading gains on the Dubai index which was up 1.7%.

On Wednesday FAB reported a 5% increase in net profit in the second quarter from a year earlier, while Emirates NBD said an 80% surge in second-quarter net profit to 4.74 billion dirhams was partly driven by an asset sale and foreign exchange gains.

The results reinforced signs that top banks in the UAE are managing to withstand strains from a sluggish economy and a property downturn in Dubai.

Saudi Arabia’s main index slid 0.1% after rising for eight straight sessions EFG Hermes forecast profit for the kingdom’s financial sector would grow 7.6% in the second quarter.

Banque Saudi Fransi lost 1.2% and Saudi Telecom was down 0.5%.

Qatar’s index inched down 0.1% with Qatar National Bank falling 0.4%.

But Qatar Islamic Bank added 0.5% after it posted a higher first-half net profit.

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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