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| 15 November, 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi may keep firm tone; DSI posts big loss in Dubai

Saudi Arabia's stock market may keep a firm tone on Wednesday after buying by state-linked funds helped it edge up in recent days

DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's stock market may keep a firm tone on Wednesday after buying by state-linked funds helped it edge up in recent days, while a big loss at builder Drake & Scull could weigh on Dubai.

The Saudi index spent almost the entire day higher on Tuesday and closed up 0.3 percent - a sign that partly because of the intervention by state funds, the impact of the kingdom's sweeping anti-corruption purge, which has alarmed investors, might be easing.

Banque Saudi Fransi may get a boost after it said Rayan bin Mohammed Fayez had been appointed managing director and chief executive; he resigned as CEO of food maker Savola Group.

The bank said last month that it would appoint an independent team to investigate violations committed as a result of "excess powers granted to several employee incentive operations", while the central bank said it was monitoring measures taken by the bank to improve governance. Investors may see the appointment of Fayez as a step towards resolving the incident.

In Dubai, Drake & Scull reported a third-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of 317.6 million dirhams ($86.5 million) versus a loss of 46.3 million dirhams a year ago, while contract revenue shrank 32 percent.

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The company said lack of liquidity before its recapitalisation, which has now been completed, hurt its third-quarter performance, and that it would be able to secure funding requirements after restructuring its debt in key markets this quarter.

In international markets, Brent oil tumbled overnight from above $63.0 a barrel to $61.48, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.5 percent.

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