Vijay Valecha, Special to Reuters February 01, 2022
Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Tuesday, with bourses in the United Arab Emirates falling after the country said it would introduce a federal corporate tax on business profits starting from June next year.
However, UAE kept the tax rate low at 9% to maintain its attractiveness for businesses. The move chimes with the country's efforts to diversify budget revenues to reduce reliance on petroleum, the mainstay of the economy for decades.
Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) fell 1%, dragged down by a 1.9% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) and a 0.8% decline in Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU).
On Monday, the UAE intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement, the third such attack on the U.S.-allied Gulf state in the last two weeks.
The Abu Dhabi index (.ADI) lost 0.5%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) falling 0.5%.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.6%, hovering near a 15-year high, led by a 0.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 1.6% increase in Saudi National Bank (1180.SE).
Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf financial markets, rose on expectations that a limited production increase by major oil producers and a solid post-pandemic recovery in fuel demand will keep a tight supply condition.
In Qatar, the benchmark index (.QSI) climbed 0.5%, with Qatar Gas Transport (QGTS.QA) jumping 4%.Source: