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Gulf brokers hit by trading drought

LONDON: A sharp slowdown in stock trading is hitting the earnings of regional brokerages as investors stay on the sidelines.
Regional political tension, global trade wars, oil price volatility and rising US interest rates have weighed on sentiment across the Gulf region and the trend is reflected in the latest crop of third quarter earnings.
Dubai-listed Al Ramz reported a 65 percent decline in third quarter profit to 4.33 million dirhams ($1.18 million) as commission income tumbled by more than a third.
Al Ramz Chairman Dhafer Al-Ahbabi described market conditions as “subdued” in an earnings statement released yesterday.
The company said it had transformed itself from being a specialist group into one with a broader focus.
“We expect the diversifying of our sources of revenues to bear fruit and enhance shareholder value,” he said.
Al Safwa Mubasher, another UAE-based brokerage with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Al Ain, said Q3 losses narrowed to 3.35 million dirhams compared to a loss of 4.79 million dirhams during the same period a year ago.
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