|26 July, 2016

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets slip as Saudi hit by poor Q2 earnings

Gulf stock markets mostly fell on Tuesday as soft oil prices dampened buying, while Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.7%.

Traders chat during early hours after opening of the Bahrain stock market, in Manama, Bahrain June 26, 2016.

Traders chat during early hours after opening of the Bahrain stock market, in Manama, Bahrain June 26, 2016.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
* Saudi's Mobily, al-Khodari tumble on Q2 results

* Positive Q2 surprise fails to lift Tasnee

* Insurance sector bucks trend on bullish earnings

* Dubai's Aramex surges 5.5 percent

* Small stocks boost Kuwait index, blue chips move little

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, July 26 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets mostly fell on Tuesday as soft oil prices dampened buying, while Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.7 percent on disappointing quarterly corporate results.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) slumped 4.2 percent after the Saudi telecommunications operator swung to a net profit of 18.8 million riyals ($5 million) in the second quarter, from a loss of 901 million riyals in the prior-year period, but fell short of estimates by analysts polled by Reuters who forecast a quarterly profit of 52.5 million riyals.

Construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin al-Khodari and Sons tumbled 3.1 percent after it reported a worse-than-forecast net loss of 43.34 million riyals in the second quarter due to a slowdown in the kingdom's building sector.

Most petrochemical shares fell as Brent oil futures flirted with $44 a barrel, hitting a fresh 11-week low. National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) fell 1.5 percent to close at 13.55 riyals after hitting a session high of 14.05 riyals. The firm posted a quarterly net profit of 104 million riyals, beating analysts' forecasts for a net loss of 1.2 million riyals and ending a run of five straight losses, although sales fell.

"Despite the 2Q16 positive surprise, operational issues at new facilities, a weak titanium dioxide outlook and high debt levels are key risks," Riyadh-based NCB Capital, which has a "neutral" rating on the stock with a price target of 12.00 riyals, said in a note.

But the insurance sector was bullish after a string of quarterly results spurred interest. Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance surged 3.3 percent after reporting a 774 percent jump in second-quarter profit before zakat (tax) to 4.48 million riyals on rising revenues.



UAE, EGYPT

Dubai's index slipped 0.4 percent as Dubai Financial Market dropped 2.2 percent after the Gulf's only listed bourse reported a 60 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to 53.5 million dirhams ($15 million). DFM said the value of shares traded on the market in the first six months of 2016 shrank 32.7 percent year-on-year.

But logistics company Aramex jumped 5.5 percent in unusually heavy trade. After the market closed, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources, that founder Fadi Ghandour had sold his entire 9.9 percent stake in the firm to Gulf investors including Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar.

In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index slipped as the largest listed bank by market value, First Gulf Bank , lost 2.4 percent.

Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital, said low volumes and profit-taking were the main reasons for the dip in United Arab Emirates stock markets.

Kuwait's main index climbed 1.6 percent on the back of a few second- and third-tier stocks such as National Consumer Holding Co , up 220 percent in very thin trade. The Kuwait 15 index , which represents only the largest and most liquid stocks, edged down 0.03 percent.

Egypt's main index edged up 0.3 percent as non-Egyptian investors accumulated shares, while local traders cashed-out, bourse data showed.

Orascom Telecom , the most heavily traded stock on the bourse, climbed 1.9 percent. Real estate investment firm Porto Group Holding jumped 3.9 percent.



TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS



SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.7 percent to 6,471 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,540 points.



ABU DHABI

* The index fell 0.5 percent to 4,592 points.



EGYPT

* The index added 0.3 percent to 7,540 points.



QATAR

* The index lost 0.2 percent to 10,538 points.



KUWAIT

* The index climbed 1.6 percent to 5,484 points.



OMAN

* The index edged down 0.03 percent to 5,810 points.



BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 1,160 points.

(Additional reporting Mariam Abu Bakr; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Alexander Smith) ((celine.aswad@thomsonreuters.com; +971 4 453 6886))





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