The introduction of Value added tax (VAT) in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates impacted the retail market in those two countries.
Saudi Arabia-based Almarai posted profit of SAR 660.6 million in Q2 2018.
The retail giant recorded two per cent down from SAR 674.1 million in the previous period of last year, blaming a downturn on the operating environment for its weaker than expected earnings.
Against this backdrop, the company’s shares, which had fallen 4.5 per cent in the week before the results, rose 1.4 per cent on Sunday.
Tadawal gained 0.6 per cent, with shares in retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. rebounding 3.9 per cent from heavy losses in the previous week, when it reported a drop in annual profit and announced it would close up to 75 stores, reported Reuters .
Insurance companies continue to be among the best performers in the Saudi exchange, benefitting from the lifting of women drivers in the kingdom last month.
United Cooperative Assurance Company was the best performer, gaining 5.7 per cent.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, stock markets saw a surge in trade, reflecting gains in world stocks after last week shock when tariffs by the United States and China on billions of dollars of trade became a reality.
In Dubai, the index was up 0.2 per cent, Amanat Holdings posted the largest gains as it jumped 6.7 per cent. The investment firm said last week that it has agreed to acquire Middlesex University’s campus in Dubai, which is partly owned by embattled private equity company Abraaj.
Ajman Bank added 0.4 per cent after announcing a net profit of AED 45 million in Q2 2018, up from AED 29.3 million last year.