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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals, banks support Saudi; Emaar weighs on Dubai
October 30, 2017 / 8:58 AM / 25 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals, banks support Saudi; Emaar weighs on Dubai

DUBAI, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Banks and an earnings beat by Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) boosted Saudi Arabia’s stock market early on Monday while Emaar Properties held back Dubai’s main index.

The Saudi stock index climbed 0.3 percent in the first hour. SABIC, the biggest petrochemical producer, gained 0.9 percent after reporting a 10.7 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts’ forecasts by a third.

Elsewhere in the sector, Arabian Pipes was up 5.1 percent and Saudi Kayan rose 0.6 percent in heavy trade. However, PetroRabigh fell 0.6 percent.

Insurers and banks were the most active stocks in Riyadh with Alinmaa Bank adding 0.2 percent and National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender, gaining 0.4 percent.

Most Saudi insurers were also up, buoyed by Malath Cooperative insurance, which jumped 6.0 percent after reporting a leap in third-quarter earnings from a low base.

The Dubai index was flat to lower as real estate giant Emaar Properties lost 0.8 percent. This offset gains by several other stocks such as GFH Financial, which rose 0.6 percent after saying it may list its shares in Saudi Arabia.

Emirates NBD rose 0.6 percent. The bank, Dubai’s largest lender, posted a 2.28 billion dirham ($620.8 million) net profit for its third quarter, up from 1.66 billion dirhams a year ago; EFG Hermes had predicted 1.85 billion dirhams and SICO Bahrain 1.89 billion.

Qatar’s index edged up 0.1 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank rose 1.5 percent and telecommunications firm Ooredoo inched up 0.1 percent despite missing analysts’ estimates.

The company reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of 462 million riyals ($127 million) in the third quarter, below SICO Bahrain’s projection of 517.7 million riyals and EFG Hermes at 533.7 million.

But Qatar First Bank rebounded 0.6 percent after losing 3.3 percent on Sunday in response to a big nine-month net loss.

In Kuwait, telecommunications firm Zain fell another 2.8 percent in early trade. On Sunday it had lost 3.3 percent after reporting net income down 7 percent in the third quarter, in line with analysts’ forecasts. The Kuwaiti stock index edged up 0.1 percent. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Kevin Liffey)

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