Mideast Stocks: Falls in bank shares keep Saudi index under pressure

In Saudi Arabia, the stock market index dropped a further 1.6% with Al Rajhi Bank losing 2.2% and Banque Saudi Fransi decreasing 2.3%

  

Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply on Tuesday, extending losses for the third straight session with banking shares falling the most, while other major Gulf markets were little changed.

In Saudi Arabia, the stock market index dropped a further 1.6% with Al Rajhi Bank losing 2.2% and Banque Saudi Fransi decreasing 2.3%.

Saudi Cement Company declined 4.5%. On Monday the company had reported third-quarter net profit of 83 million riyals, up from 75.4 million riyals a year earlier but down about 10% from the second quarter.

But oil refiner PetroRabigh advanced 2.9% after reporting a more than 62% rise in its third-quarter net profit. The company attributed the increase to improved profit margins for refined products and an improvement in operational performance.

Conglomerate Savola Group jumped 6.6% after reporting third-quarter net profit of 221.8 million riyals, compared with a net loss of 50.7 million riyals a year earlier on higher sales and margins, an increase in the share of profit from associates and a reduction in currency exchange losses.

Extending losses from previous session, Dubai's main share index opened 0.1% lower as gains in financial shares were offset by losses in real estate.

Damac Properties declined 2.6% and Deyaar Development dropped 1.3%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1%, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank adding 0.9%. On Sunday, the bank reported a 13% drop in third-quarter profit in line with analysts' forecasts. These were the second set of results since ADCB merged with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank.

Qatar's index also gained 0.1% with Qatar Fuel Company increasing 0.9% and banking group Masraf Al Rayan added 0.5%.

On Monday Masraf Al Rayan had reported marginal growth in nine-month net profit to 1.65 billion riyals ($453.30 million), compared with 1.63 billion riyals a year earlier.

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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