|12 February, 2020

Mideast Stocks: Most Middle Eastern stocks decline

27 of 30 Egyptian stocks drop

Investors are seen at the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018.

Investors are seen at the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Most major Middle Eastern stock markets closed lower on Wednesday with Qatar and Dubai dragged down by a slew of poor earnings, while financial shares fuelled Sa1udi Arabia's gains.

In Qatar, the index slipped 1.4% in its fourth decline in a row, driven by a 4.8% plunge in Industries Qatar . The petrochemical maker suffered its biggest intra-day fall in six months as its annual profit declined by 48% to QAR 2.6 billion ($714.29 million). 

Dubai's index was down 0.5% with Emaar Properties declining 1.5%. After the market closed, the blue-chip developer reported a marginal fall in its fourth-quarter net profit.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du) closed down 1.8%, having slid as much as 3.5% during the sessions after it posted a decline in fourth-quarter revenue and mobile subscriber base. 

In Egypt, the blue-chip index dropped 1.2% with most constituents trading lower.

Alexandria Mineral Oils Company declined 2.9%, while Credit Agricole Egypt lost 1.9%, though it posted a rise in 2019 profit. 

Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers of stocks, according to exchange data.

Egypt is in talks with the International Monetary Fund about technical assistance on non-financial structural reforms, its central bank governor said on Tuesday.

The country is emerging from a three-year, IMF-backed economic reform programme that saw inflation soar as high as 33% during 2017.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.3% with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.3% and Banque Saudi Fransi adding 3.3%.

However, the gains were capped by losses at Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Zain Saudi) , which plunged 7%, extending losses for a second day after it ended talks to convert government debts into shares.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco retreated 0.8% to 33.2 riyals ($8.85), extending losses to a straight third session.

The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.2% as First Abu Dhabi Bank shed 0.4% and Aldar Properties lost 1.3%.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) ($1 = 3.7505 riyals)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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