MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may be soft as global bourses slip; Saudi bank earnings mixed

DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Gulf bourses may have a soft tone on Tuesday after global equities prices slipped, while the latest Saudi Arabian first-quarter bank earnings are mixed.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.5 percent on North Korean tensions, while oil prices have barely moved.

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender, reported a 2.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 2.70 billion riyals ($720 million); SICO Bahrain had forecast 2.39 billion riyals.

But Alawwal Bank made a profit of 324.0 million riyals, down from 511.5 million riyals a year earlier. NCB Capital had projected 376 million riyals and EFG Hermes, 443 million riyals.

Elsewhere, Commercial Bank of Qatar may see selling after it reported a 66.7 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as bad debt charges rose sharply. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)