MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf ends firm despite Doha talks’ failure; Egypt surges – Reuters

6 months ago Comments Off on MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf ends firm despite Doha talks’ failure; Egypt surges – Reuters

* Petrochemical shares lead Saudi recovery

* Tasnee and Ma’aden jump after earnings top forecasts

* But SAFCO slumps as earnings miss estimates

* Dubai recoups early losses

* Egypt climbs to six-month high as foreigners buy

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, April 18 Major stock markets in the Gulf
rebounded in late trade on Monday to close higher despite the
collapse of oil producers’ talks in Doha, while Egypt’s bourse
surged to a six-month closing high.

The failure of Sunday’s Doha meeting to agree on an oil
output freeze was a blow to sentiment in the oil market, and
Brent crude tumbled more than 5 percent at one stage.
But it later came well off its lows to stand only 2.6 percent
down at $42 a barrel.

This was a relief to Gulf bourses, which were also
encouraged by some positive first-quarter earnings in Saudi
Arabia that suggested the region’s economic slowdown was not
hurting corporate profits as much as feared.

The Saudi stock index, which fell as much as 1.6
percent in early trade, rebounded to close 0.2 percent higher,
led by the petrochemical sector.

Petrochemical producer National Industrialisation Co
(Tasnee) surged 9.8 percent after posting a
first-quarter net loss of 94.8 million riyals ($25.3 million),
beating analysts’ forecasts of a 272.9 million riyal loss.

NCB Capital attributed the result to higher-than-expected
gross margins on the back of improved efficiency and higher
operating rates.

But the second largest listed petrochemical producer, Saudi
Arabia Fertilisers Co (SAFCO), slumped 3.8 percent to
62.75 riyals after reporting a 51.5 percent decline in net
profit to 286 million riyals.

Analysts had expected the unit of Saudi Basic Industries
to make 314.6 million riyals. Riyad Capital attributed
the fall mainly to lower urea prices and revised its target
price for the stock to 70.0 riyals from 80.0, maintaining a
“hold” rating.


Another commodity producer, Saudi Arabian Mining Co
(Ma’aden), climbed 6.3 percent after reporting a 35.3
percent fall in first-quarter net profit to 168.9 million riyals
versus analysts’ average estimate of just 1.13 million riyals.

Saudi banking sector earnings have mostly been above
analysts’ expectations, and Arab National Bank, one of
the last in the sector to report, also came in ahead of

Its shares rose 1.3 percent after it posted a first-quarter
net profit of 749.2 million riyals, a 2.8 percent drop. Analysts
polled by Reuters had forecast 685.8 million riyals.

Other Gulf bourses also bounced from early lows. Dubai’s
index was down as much as 2.5 percent but finished 0.1
percent higher.

Builder Drake & Scull, the most heavily traded
stock on the bourse, added 3.5 percent. Emirates NBD,
the biggest bank, gained 2.5 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.03 percent,
helped by banks. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gained 4.4
percent and First Gulf Bank, the most valuable listed
lender, added 0.4 percent.

In Doha, where companies are expected to start reporting
earnings at the end of this week, the index added 0.4
percent. Ezdan Holding Group, a real estate developer,
rose 1.1 percent.

Cairo’s main index added 1.9 percent to 7,662 point
as foreign investors bought shares aggressively, bourse data

Some shares favoured by international fund managers rallied,
with Global Telecom Holding and Commercial
International Bank surging 4.0 percent and 4.7 percent



* The index rose 0.2 percent to 6,425 points.


* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 3,525 points.


* The index edged up 0.03 percent to 4,557 points.


* The index rose 0.4 percent to 10,232 points.


* The index jumped 1.9 percent to 7,662 points.


* The index dropped 0.5 percent to 5,290 points.


* The index fell 1.3 percent to 5,660 points.


* The index rose 0.3 percent to 1,127 points.

(Editing by Andrew Torchia)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf ends firm despite Doha talks’ failure; Egypt surges – Reuters}