Dubai’s bourse has outpaced other Gulf markets by a wide margin in terms of companies’ first-quarter profit growth,  data show, supporting its position as the top performer in the region.
The emirate’s benchmark soared 108 per cent last year and is up 57 per cent this year, making it one of the world’s top-performing stock markets over the past 17 months.
Although some analysts believe the market is overbought, its fundamentals have improved significantly. The combined net profit of Dubai-listed companies that posted results by May 1 jumped 34.1 per cent year-on-year, as calculated by Reuters based on data compiled by Kuwait’s Kipco Asset Management Company.
The figure does not include the earnings of Emaar Properties  because the Dubai bellwether has yet to publish its full financial report. If Emaar’s preliminary figures were included, it would lift Dubai’s profit increase to 38.3 per cent.
Banks and property companies dominate Dubai’s bourse and some analysts think that structure partly explains the jump.
Earnings in Abu Dhabi have risen 11.6 per cent. This was largely thanks to First Gulf Bank and telecoms operator etisalat, which posted profit increases of 27.2 per cent and 10.9 perc ent respectively, accounting for 54 per cent of Abu Dhabi companies’ combined quarterly profits.
In Saudi Arabia, total reported profit from listed companies rose 10.9 per cent. Excluding Saudi Basic Industries, which accounted for a quarter of total earnings and which suffered a 1.8 per cent profit fall, combined profits rose 15.8 per cent.
Qatar’s bourse has officially reported that the combined first-quarter net profit of all but two companies amounted to QR11.1 billion, up 8.6 per cent year on year.
“These are all good numbers. It underpins the advance in share prices that we have seen in the past six months,” said Amer Khan, senior executive officer at Shuaa Asset Management, referring to the figures for Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.