|12 February, 2020

Mideast Stocks: Weak earnings hurt Dubai, Qatar; banks aid Saudi index

Dubai's main share index was down 0.3% with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties falling 1%

Stock markets in Dubai and Qatar fell on Wednesday, pressured by a string of disappointing corporate earnings, while Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose marginally, supported by its banking shares.

Dubai's main share index was down 0.3% with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties falling 1%. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications slid 3.2%, its biggest intraday fall since November.

The telco reported a profit of 436 million dirhams ($118.71 million) in fourth-quarter, up from 346 mln dirhams year ago. But it posted a decline in revenue and its mobile subscriber base for the same period.

The Qatari index eased 0.9%, driven down by a 4% plunge in Industries Qatar. The petrochemical maker saw its biggest decline in six months as 2019 profits almost halved from a year earlier.

The firm said external macroeconomic factors had hit commodity prices.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.2% with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.3%. The kingdom's largest lender, National Commercial Bank, rose 0.4%.

However, the gains were capped by losses at Mobile Telecommunications Company, which plunged a further 7%. On Monday, the telecoms firm ended talks with the ministry of finance aimed at converting the debt the company owed to the ministry into the firm's shares.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1% as telecoms firm Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank added 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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