|30 July, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi edges up on strong earnings, Dubai extends gains

Saudi's Al Rajhi Bank gains on higher Q2 profit

Image for illustrative purposes. An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 18, 2016.

Image for illustrative purposes. An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 18, 2016.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabian stocks edged up on Tuesday, recovering from the previous session's biggest single-day loss in a month, as strong earnings from two lenders boosted most bank shares.

Dubai's bourse consolidated gains after touching nearly a year-high on Monday.

The Saudi index was up 0.1%. Al Rajhi Bank gained 1% after it posted a more than 4% rise in second-quarter profit, as revenue from special commissions and investments increased.

Riyad Bank gained as much as 2.4% after its profit surged over the same period on a 22.9% jump in operating income, but traded unchanged at the close.

Outside banks, Yamama Cement jumped 4.4% after turning profitable in the second quarter on higher sales and lower expenses, while Saudi Ground Services, which posted a higher quarterly profit, rose 2.9%.

By contrast PetroRabigh slumped 8.8% as it slipped to a second-quarter loss from a profit a year earlier.

Dubai's index rose 1.1%, boosted by real estate and financial stocks.

Emaar Properties gained 1.5%. The blue-chip developer has risen in recent sessions after signing a memorandum of understanding concerning an $11 billion project at Beijing's new airport.

Dubai Financial Market  jumped 5.1% to its highest level since Sept. 16 last year, after higher second-quarter profit triggered a seven-day rally.

In Abu Dhabi, the index closed 0.6%. Emirates Telecom Group slipped 1.4% and the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, edged down 0.5%.

Qatar's index slipped 0.1%, primarily driven by a 2% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank. Qatar First Bank  plunged 7% to another record low after the company drifted to a first-half loss, having scored a profit in the first quarter.

The market received some support from telecommunications firm Ooredoo , which traded 2% up after reporting a higher second-quarter profit.

Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.4%, with El Sewedy Electric  dropping 7.9%.

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by David Holmes) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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