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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks strong in Saudi Arabia, DP World down after flat profit
August 24, 2017 / 7:54 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks strong in Saudi Arabia, DP World down after flat profit

DUBAI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Banking shares were buoyant in Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning while blue chips helped lift Dubai slightly, although port operator DP World underperformed because of uninspiring interim financial results.

Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.3 percent, heading for its seventh straight straight session of gains. Most other Saudi lenders were also strong, with National Commercial Bank rising 0.6 percent, helping lift the Riyadh index 0.1 percent after 25 minutes of trade.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.3 percent on the back of a 1.5 percent gain in the largest property developer, Emaar Properties.

GFH Financial Group rose 1.1 percent after the company said its board had discussed distributing dividends “given the group’s recent good performance”.

The Middle East’s largest listed port operator, DP World , fell 1.8 percent after the company reported a first-half net profit of $606 million, in line with analysts’ expectations.

Profit was flat compared to the year-ago period but revenue was up almost 10 percent. The company said its like-for-like revenue rose 3 percent, driven mainly by an increase in containerised revenue.

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent, weighed down by declines in the top two most valuable companies: telecommunications operator Etisalat was down 0.3 percent and First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 0.5 percent.

Qatar’s index fell 0.3 percent as most blue chips declined; Qatar Islamic Bank dropped 1.2 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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