DUBAI Oct 19 Fresh headline quarterly earnings
results from major companies in the Gulf are set to swing
investor sentiment on Wednesday, but the broadly in-line results
from Saudi Basic Industries may steady the Riyadh
index after three sessions of declines.
Headline third-quarter earnings of Saudi companies have come
in mostly weak with some below expectations and that has
dragged the main index down 4.1 percent so far this week.
But SABIC's results came in at the upper end of analysts'
average expectations. The largest petrochemical producer posted
a net income of 5.22 billion riyals ($1.39 billion), a 6.8
percent drop from the same period a year ago.
SABIC attributed the profit fall to lower average sales
prices and a reduction in the quantity of products sold, which
outweighed the benefits gained from a decrease in costs.
Saudi Cement, one of the kingdom's largest cement
firms by market value, reported a 3.9 percent drop in its
third-quarter net profit on Tuesday as sales dropped, selling
and distribution expenses rose, and other income decreased.
Tabuk Cement, a mid-sized producer, also recorded
a drop in profit for the three months to Sept. 30. Net income
came in at 7.9 million riyals, a 14.1 percent year-on-year
In Qatar, the index may likely be weighed by some
disappointing results. Commercial Bank of Qatar,
reported a third-quarter net loss versus a year-ago profit. It
made a net attributable loss of 1.38 million Qatari riyals
($379,016.75), Reuters calculated based on financial statements
in lieu of a quarterly breakdown. That compared with a profit of
275.93 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.
Qatar Insurance, the Gulf country's largest
insurer by market value, reported a 6 percent fall in its
third-quarter net profit at 108.8 million riyals ($29 million).
EFG Hermes had forecast the insurer to post a profit of 312
($1 = 3.7490 riyals)
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and