MIDEAST STOCKS-Q2 profit misses weigh on Saudi markets, Gulf … – Reuters

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DUBAI, July 26 (Reuters) – Stock markets in the Gulf edged down in early trade on Tuesday as soft oil prices dampened the mood while Saudi Arabia’s index was dragged 0.3 percent lower by disappointing quarterly corporate results.
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) slumped 2.1 percent. The Saudi telecommunications operator reported it had swung to a net profit of 18.8 million riyals ($5.0 million) in the second quarter from a loss of 901 million riyals in the prior-year period; analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast a quarterly profit of 52.5 million riyals.
Construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin al-Khodari and Sons tumbled 3.1 percent after it said it swung to a net loss of 43.34 million riyals in the second quarter as earnings were pressured once again by the slowdown in the kingdom’s building sector. EFG Hermes had forecast a loss of 16 million riyals.
Most petrochemical shares pulled back as Brent oil futures traded near 11-week lows. But National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) climbed 1.1 percent after it swung to a quarterly net profit of 103.9 million riyals, beating analysts’ forecasts for a net loss of 1.2 million riyals and ending a run of five straight losses. But sales fell 9.5 percent in the quarter.
Saudi Basic Industries traded up 0.3 percent. On Monday SABIC announced that it was studying a proposal for a jointly owned petrochemicals complex on the United States’ Gulf coast with an affiliate of U.S. Exxon Mobil.
The insurance sector was bullish after a string of quarterly results spurred interest. Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance surged 4.4 percent after reporting a 774 percent jump in second-quarter profit before zakat (tax) to 4.48 million riyals. The company cited rising revenues.
Elsewhere, Dubai’s index slipped 0.4 percent as Dubai Financial Market dropped 1.5 percent after the Gulf’s only listed bourse reported a 60 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to 53.5 million dirhams ($14.6 million). DFM said the value of shares traded on the market in the first six months of 2016 was down 32.7 percent year-on-year.
In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.7 percent, weighed down by a 1.8 percent pull-back in Dana Gas . (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Heavens)
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