All the GCC markets, except Kuwait and Dubai, witnessed declines in the first quarter earnings. The first quarter net profits of Saudi Arabia-listed corporates, which made up 36.9 per cent of aggregate GCC quarterly profits, declined 9.2 per cent to US$6.3bn.
Banking and telecom services sectors saw single digit growths in the first quarter net profits that only partially offset the decline in aggregate earnings.
Banking sector represented 58 per cent of the total GCC earnings in the first quarter of 2019. All six countries of the GCC saw their banking sector earnings surge during the quarter, recording a growth of 9.1 per cent to US$10.0bn for the region.
Dubai’s banking sector witnessed the biggest increase in first quarter earnings, reporting a 17.4 per cent jump in net profits followed by Saudi Arabia with a growth of 9.1 per cent.