July 24, 2018 / 12:47 PM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks up while some petchems weigh on index; FAB rises in Abu Dhabi

* Some petchems weigh on Saudi index

* Saudi Kayan reverses some gains

* SABB rises after announcing cash dividend

* FAB rises in Abu Dhabi before profit increase announcement

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, July 24 (Reuters) - Shares in Saudi banks rose on Tuesday on the back of positive second-quarter results, while some petrochemical companies dropped, reflecting a fall in oil prices.

The Saudi index shed 0.5 percent, as companies such as Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co and National Industrialization Company weighed on the index.

Saudi Kayan published its second-quarter financial results on Sunday, showing a net profit of 878.7 million riyals ($234.30 million), up from 242 million riyals during the same period a year earlier. The results were well above average analysts’ expectations of 470 million riyals.

The company, a subsidiary of petrochemical giant SABIC, jumped after the results publication and was up 6.2 percent on Monday.

Another petrochemical, National Industrialization Company (Tasnee), dropped 3.3 percent on Tuesday, despite posting an increase in second-quarter net profit on Monday, to 295.8 million riyals from 93.6 million riyals a year earlier.

Saudi banks such as Saudi British Bank (SABB) and Arab National Bank were up.

SABB, which gained 1.5 percent, proposed a cash dividend of 0.96 riyals per share for the first half of the year. Arab National Bank was up 0.3 percent after announcing on Tuesday a second-quarter profit increase to 919.1 million riyals, from 849 million riyals last year.

In a research note, Arqaam Capital said Arab National Bank stocks were attractive because of “stronger visibility on earnings, improving corporate appetite, and room to optimise funding base”.

In Dubai, where the index shed 0.2 percent, trading volume was concentrated on Drake and Scull International (DSI) . The company has been lagging because of concerns about its financial position, business outlook and the outcome of an investigation by United Arab Emirates authorities into financial violations by previous management. It gained 1 percent on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.3 percent, blue-chip First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 0.8 percent ahead of the publication of its financial results, which it posted after market close. The bank registered a 19 percent increase in second-quarter net profit, which amounted to 3.1 billion dirhams ($844.04 million).

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index lost 0.5 percent to 8,406 points.

DUBAI

* The index sheds 0.2 percent to 2,926 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index gains 0.3 percent to 4,777 points.

QATAR

* The index adds 1.9 percent to 9,618 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.8 percent to 1,368 points.

KUWAIT

* The index added 0.1 percent to 5,365 points.

OMAN

* The index decreased 0.6 percent to 4,405 points.

EGYPT

* The index gained 1.2 percent to 15,480 points. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia Editing by Alison Williams)

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