July 30, 2018 / 7:37 AM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets start on weak note, Qatar hit by Ooredoo results

DUBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - Qatari stocks were among the major losers in Gulf markets in early Monday trade, hurt by heavy selling in shares of Ooredoo after the telecommunications company posted a 60 percent drop in quarterly earnings.

The Dubai index was little changed, supported by a 1.5 percent gain in Emaar Malls after the property firm reported a 15 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, broadly in line with market forecasts.

Shares in Ooredoo plunged 5.4 percent after reporting a 60 percent decline in second-quarter net profit a day earlier.

Ooredoo made a net profit of 203 million riyals versus 513 million riyals year ago, the second consecutive quarterly profit decline. It was below SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 431 million riyals and EFG Hermes’ forecast of 250.9 million riyals.

The result weighed on the Qatari index, which fell 0.4 percent in early trade. Other blue-chip stocks were also down, with Industries Qatar falling 0.9 percent.

The Saudi market was trading flat in early trade as investors tried to digest quarterly earnings and were cautious about valuations for top companies after the index’s nearly 15 percent rise so far this year. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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