|22 January, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Earnings season lifts Saudis; major Gulf markets drop

Saudi Arabian stocks inched up in early trading on Tuesday, lifted by a slew of corporate announcements, while most major Middle Eastern markets slipped.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

TADAWUL

Saudi Arabian stocks inched up in early trading on Tuesday, lifted by a slew of corporate announcements, while most major Middle Eastern markets slipped.

Saudi Arabia's main index added 0.2 percent, with Petrochemical investor Alujain jumping 4.9 percent after an update on the fire at its affiliate's plant.

The fire broke out on Oct. 2 at its unit's NATPET plant and halted production. The company said it now expects the NATPET plant to start operating all units by the end of September.

Saudi Steel Pipes rose 3.3 percent in active trade. The company said Tenaris completed the acquisition of 47.8 percent of Saudi Steel shares.

Saudi Arabia Fertilizers rose 1.8 percent after posting a jump in its fourth-quarter net profit and sales.

The Dubai index, which is down 1.5 percent this month, slid 0.3 percent, pulled down its property stocks. Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak, hurt by weaker oil prices and muted sales.

Emaar Properties lost 0.3 percent and developer DAMAC Properties fell 1.7 percent. Emaar and state-owned developer Nakheel have put plans to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds on hold, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Qatar's index slipped 0.4 percent, partly from a 1.5 percent drop in lender Masraf Al Rayan, despite reporting a 6.8 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations, in line with forecasts.

Industries Qatar fell 0.8 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank slid 0.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.1 percent, with Emirates Telecommunications shedding 0.1 percent and Sharjah Cement decreasing 8.7 percent.

(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

© Reuters News 2019

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