DUBAI, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Banks led the Saudi Arabian stock market up early on Thursday after Riyad Bank beat expectations for its earnings, while builder Drake & Scull jumped in Dubai.
Riyad Bank gained 4.0 percent after reporting a 47.7 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million); analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 852.5 million riyals.
It was one of the first Saudi banks to report quarterly earnings - Alinma Bank beat analysts’ estimates slightly on Sunday - so the news buoyed the sector in general. All eight listed Saudi banks that traded early on Thursday were higher.
The Saudi stock index climbed 0.3 percent. Petrochemical firm Saudi Kayan, which reported a rise in profit to 381 million riyals compared to analysts’ average forecast of 129 million riyals, surged 5.2 percent.
In Dubai, Drake & Scull, which has attracted renewed interest since it completed a capital restructuring early this month, gained 5.3 percent to 2.0 dirhams in heavy trade. It has climbed by more than a third since early October.
In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas added 2.7 percent after saying its operations and production in Iraqi Kurdistan were continuing as normal, following the Iraqi military’s retaking of some of the biggest oil fields from Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces.
Qatar’s index rose 0.3 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank gained 1.1 percent after reporting a 10.9 percent jump in third-quarter net profit, in line with analysts’ forecasts. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Toby Chopra)