Saudi bourse falls on poor earnings, volatile oil; Abu Dhabi up

Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse in Manama
Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
  • Yansab tumbles as it swings to qtrly loss
  • Saudi's energy index
  • Egypt aims to give tax breaks to companies of up to 55%
  • Egypt's SODIC soars on strong 9-month results

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian shares ended lower on Wednesday following a slew of disappointing corporate results, with uncertainty around energy markets weighing on investor sentiment.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, were broadly stable moving in and out of negative territory after industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, though supply concerns and a weaker dollar gave support.

Rising stockpiles reinforce fears of a global recession that would further cut demand, weakness in which has also been apparent in softer Chinese crude import data.

The benchmark index (<.TASI>) in Saudi Arabia declined 1.5%, dragged down by a 4% fall in Retal Urban Development Co (<4322.SE>) despite the company reporting a higher quarterly profit.

Yanbu Petrochemicals Company (<2290.SE>) slid 4.6% as the petrochemical firm swung to a quarterly loss.

Among other losers, oil giant Saudi Aramco (<2222.SE>) lost 1.8% and the Saudi energy index (<.TENI>) was down 1.8%.

In Qatar, the index (<.QSI>) retreated 1.6%, extending losses for a third session, as most of the stocks were in negative territory including Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan (<MARK.QA>), which tumbled 6.7%.

The bank reported a more than 20% drop in nine-month net profit at 1.36 billion Qatari riyals ($373.63 million).

Elsewhere, petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (<IQCD.QA>) dropped 2.1%, ahead of its earnings announcement.

The Qatari market continued to decline under the effect of uncertainty in natural gas markets as well as lower returns in the banking sector, said Daniel Takieddine, chief executive of MENA BDSwiss.

"The market could also be affected by the more cautious atmosphere globally."

Dubai's main share index (<.DFMGI>) finished 0.9% lower, hit by a 1.6% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (<EMAR.DU>) and a 1.5% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (<DISB.DU>).

The Abu Dhabi index (<.FTFADGI>) added 0.3%, snapping three sessions of losses, helped by a 1.1% rise in conglomerate International Holding Co (<IHC.AD>).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (<.EGX30>) added 0.8%, extending gains for a second sessions.

Egypt aims to give income tax breaks to companies that can reach up to 55% for some, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday. read more

Shares in Sixth of October Development and Investment Co (SODIC) (<OCDI.CA>), which is not part of the index, leapt 5.7% following a strong rise in nine-month earnings.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.