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| 25 February, 2018

Mideast Stocks: Gulf rises on strong oil, global markets

DP World was flat after saying on Thursday that it would take legal action after Djibouti ended a contract with the company

An investor gestures as he monitors a screen displaying stock information in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.

An investor gestures as he monitors a screen displaying stock information in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI: Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday in response to gains in global bourses and oil prices at the end of last week, with Saudi Arabian petrochemicals in particular climbing because of Brent crude oil's rebound to the $67 a barrel level.

The Saudi stock index added 0.3 percent in the first half-hour with 13 of 14 petrochemical stocks rising.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical 2350.SE gained 0.5 percent after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss of 220 million riyals ($58.7 million) because of scheduled maintenance at its plants.

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The loss was larger than the 90 million riyal loss forecast by SICO Bahrain, but much smaller than the 417 million riyal deficit predicted by NCB Capital.

Abdulmohsen Al Hokair Group for Tourism and Development 1820.SE sank 5.4 percent after reporting annual net profit fell to 8.7 million riyals from 126.3 million riyals; it cited low demand from individuals and corporates due to a decline in state spending and private sector demand for conferences. The figures implied a 23.1 million riyal loss in the fourth quarter.

Dubai's index added 0.3 percent as Dubai Islamic Bank rose 0.5 percent after saying its planned issue of up to 1.65 billion new shares would be offered at a discount of 45 percent to the market price on a date to be decided by the board.

DP World DPW.DI was flat after saying on Thursday that it would take legal action after Djibouti ended a contract with the company to run its Doraleh Container Terminal, a move which DP World called an illegal seizure. 

The company said terminating the contract would have no material financial impact on it. The terminal has annual capacity of 1.25 million twenty-foot equivalent units, compared to 70.1 million TEU handled across DP World's global portfolio of container terminals in 2017. 

Qatar's index .QSI dropped 0.3 percent as Qatari Investors Group, which had lost 1.3 percent on Thursday as it went ex-dividend, sank a further 2.7 percent.

In Manama, Bahrain Telecommunications Co jumped 3.9 percent to 0.214 dinar, testing technical resistance on its February peak; any clean break would trigger a double bottom formed by the January and February lows and pointing up to 0.228 dinar.

The company reported a 21.7 million dinar ($57.6 million) loss during the fourth quarter, compared to a net profit of 5.2 million dinars a year ago, because of impairment losses related to its investments in Yemen and Jordan.

But executives predicted profit of 40 to 45 million dinars in 2018 and said they were on the lookout for acquisition opportunities in the telecommunications and digital spaces. 

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))