DUBAI Oct 28 Saudi Arabia's shares extended
losses on Monday as earnings disappointed investors, while most
other Middle East bourses retreated in profit-taking.
Saudi's retail and telecom sectors led declines after key
companies' profits missed analysts' expectations.
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair posted an 11.8 percent
rise in second-quarter profit to 282.08 million riyals ($75.21
million), trailing a forecast average of 299.9 million riyals,
despite higher sales.
Analysts blamed Alhokair's lower-than-expected profit growth
on ebbing revenue growth.
NCB Capital said Alhokair's 13.5 percent revenue growth
year-on-year was the lowest quarterly growth in 15 quarters.
"We believe this set of numbers reflects more accurately the
core, organic business and without continued aggressive
expansion in Saudi and abroad, could be the new-norm," Farouk
Miah, analyst at NCB Capital said in a note.
Alhokair fell 5.6 percent, trimming 2013 gains to 94.7
Telecom operator Zain Saudi fell 4.1 percent. The
company posted a narrower loss for the third quarter, but still
Saudi Arabia's index retreated 0.8 percent, down for
a second session since Thursday's two-month high.
In Egypt, retail investor selling weighed as the bourse
fell 2 percent from Sunday's 33-month intraday high.
"It's normal profit-taking dominated by locals and retail
-there is minimal involvement from international investors and
institutional volumes are lower than usual," said Ashraf
Akhnoukh, co-head of sales trading at CIBC Brokerage.
The market rose on Sunday after the United Arab Emirates
signed an agreement for $4.9 billion worth of aid to Egypt, $1
billion of which was sent in July. The deal added to the $12
billion already promised from Gulf states.
"The new aid from the UAE is positive for Egypt and market
sentiment but we need concrete political actions - we need to
see the constitutional draft passed and the parliamentary
elections to take place," said Akhnoukh. "That's when we'll see
real interest from investors."
Egypt's interim government is working on a draft
constitution and will hold parliamentary elections after the
document is approved.
Elsewhere, UAE markets edged lower. Dubai's index
slipped 0.4 percent, coming off Sunday's five-year high, but
still up 79.5 percent this year.
"Valuations on a trailing basis look like they're filling up
but you have to factor in earnings growth momentum," said Amer
Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management. "I don't think we're
stretched in any shape or form yet."
* The index retreated 0.8 percent to 8,059 points.
* The index dropped 2 percent to 6,070 points.
* The index declined 0.4 percent to 2,913 points.
* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 3,885 points.
* The index fell 0.2 percent to 9,644 points.
* The index declined 0.6 percent to 7,939 points.
* The index edged up 0.02 percent to 6,653 points.
* The index ended flat at 1,198 points.