July 25, 2018 / 8:19 AM / in 4 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares drag Saudi and Qatar indices, Dubai developers boost benchmark

DUBAI, July 25 (Reuters) - Banking shares slipped in Saudi Arabia and Qatar early on Wednesday as investors digested a mixed bag of results.

Banque Saudi Fransi, which reported lower second quarter earnings on Tuesday, was down 2.5 percent. The lender disclosed a profit of 921 million riyals ($245.58 million) in the three months to June 30, down from 1.01 billion riyals in the same period of 2017.

National Commercial Bank lost 0.6 percent, even after the kingdom’s largest lender on Tuesday reported a 6.7 percent rise in second-quarter profit to 2.58 billion riyals.

Arab National Bank was down 0.8 percent after the lender reported a 8.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 919.1 million riyals.

The Saudi index was little changed, slipping 0.2 percent.

Qatar’s benchmark traded lower, weighed down by Qatar National Bank which was down 2 percent. Other bank stocks also declined. Qatar Islamic Bank was down 1.3 percent and Masraf Al Rayan was down 0.2 percent.

The Dubai index rose, with Emaar Properties seeing the highest trading volume and rising 1.5 percent. The property firm on Tuesday provided a project update on its Dubai creek harbour development.

Other property stocks also rose. Deyaar Development was up 0.9 percent and Union Properties was up 0.6 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, where the index rose 0.5 percent, First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.7 percent a day after the lender reported a 19 percent year-on-year gain in quarterly profit to 3.1 billion dirhams. Emirates Telecommunications Group , also known as Etisalat, rose 0.3 percent a day after the operator reported a 12.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 2.2 billion dirhams. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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