(Corrects CIB Q4 profit to 1.15 billion pounds from 1.5 billion, and annual increase to 11 pct from 46 pct)
DUBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Middle East may come under pressure on Thursday after oil prices reversed back near $30, although Egypt may find support from a blue-chip lender’s strong earnings.
Brent futures are now slightly above $30 a barrel - a psychologically important level for investors in the Gulf. Since the start of the year, drops below that level have resulted in sharp sell-offs in regional equities.
Dubai’s index, which has been outperforming its regional peers, could weaken after the largest listed real estate developer, Emaar Properties, posted earnings at the low end of expectations.
Emaar reported near-flat quarterly net profit of 1.03 billion dirhams ($281 million), after taking a writedown related to a fire at one of its hotels on New Year’s Eve. An analyst at SICO Bahrain had forecast 1.08 billion dirhams. The stock fell 1.3 percent before the results were announced.
Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is building its huge amusement park project, posted a 2015 loss of 109 million dirhams compared to a 21 million dirham loss a year earlier.
But Kuwait’s largest telecommunications operator by subscribers, Zain, may trade up after it reported an 8 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, halting a sustained earnings slump as its subscriber base increased.
Egypt’s Commercial International Bank may also find some buying interest after it recorded fourth-quarter net profit of 1.15 billion Egyptian pounds ($147 million), an 11 percent jump from the same period a year earlier. The lender also brought in record full-year revenues of 10.2 billion pounds, up 32 percent.
Cairo’s main index rose 1.0 percent on Wednesday, with foreigners the net buyers by a large margin of more than two to one, according to stock exchange data. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)
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