Mideast Stocks: Banks lift Saudi, UAE markets slip as earnings impact fades

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trading on Monday as financial stocks gained while UAE stock markets fell back

  

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trading on Monday as financial stocks gained while UAE stock markets fell back as impact from strong earnings by real estate firms in particular faded.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.2 percent with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8 percent.

Arab National Bank rose 1.3 percent after it reported a full-year net profit of 3.31 billion riyals ($882.62 million) versus 3.03 billion riyals a year earlier.

The index has gained nearly 10 percent year-to-date, led mainly by foreigners buying the stocks.

Saudi exchange weekly data shows they have been net-buyers in all weeks this year and have bought 838.1 million riyals ($223.5 million) of stocks on a net basis the last week.

In Dubai, the index was down 0.3 percent with its largest lender Emirates NBD slipping 0.5 percent.

Major developer Emaar Properties and its unit Emaar Malls, which had boosted the index in recent sessions after reporting robust earnings, fell back 0.7 and 1.2 percent respectively.

Shuaa Capital plunged 9.9 percent. It had last week reported a fourth-quarter loss compared with a profit a year earlier.

Loss-making DXB Entertainments shed 1.2 percent. It reported a full-year loss of 1 billion dirhams ($272.27 million), which it said included 474 million dirhams of non-cash depreciation and 318 million dirhams of net finance costs.

The firm has mostly fallen since it said on Feb. 6 that the Six Flags theme park in Dubai had been put on hold as the financing for the project was no longer available, in a sign that the Gulf's leading tourism and commerce hotspot is being buffeted by the impact of an economic slowdown.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.3 percent with blue-chip bank First Abu Dhabi Bank retreating 0.5 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank shedding 1.5 percent.

In Qatar, Medicare Group rose 3.3 percent. Gulf International Services, which slumped in the last two sessions after it had turned to a full-year loss, recouped some losses to rise 1.8 percent.

The Index was hit by a technical glitch and was not updating stock moves.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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