MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Doha deal in doubt; Egypt gains – Reuters

6 months ago Comments Off on MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Doha deal in doubt; Egypt gains – Reuters

* Saudi stock market pulls back from three-month high

* But most valuable Saudi bank beats earnings forecasts

* Dubai down as investors sell mid- to large-caps

* Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas jumps

* Egypt gains as local investors return to market

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, April 17 Uncertainty at talks among oil
producers in Doha dampened Gulf stock markets on Sunday, with
Saudi Arabia pulling back after a 4 percent jump last week.
Egypt edged up as local investors returned to buy shares.

Early on Sunday it appeared that producers were close to
agreeing an oil output freeze, but negotiations were later
delayed into the afternoon as a new proposal called for all OPEC
members to agree even though Iran has said it will not take
part. [ID:nL9N0VZ00T}

“Investors interpreted the delay to possibly mean a lack of
a solid deal,” said a Jeddah-based trader, adding that investors
would prefer to wait until an agreement was reached.

Saudi Arabia’s stock index shed 1.5 percent to 6,412
points, falling back from a three-month high hit on Thursday.

But Saudi banks’ first-quarter results continued to surprise
on the upside, with the largest lender by market value, Al Rajhi
Bank, posting a first-quarter net profit of 2.02
billion riyals ($538.7 million),a 32.8 percent jump, as it cut
wage costs and fee income increased.

Six analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast
quarterly profit of 1.84 billion riyals. Shares in the Islamic
lender jumped 1.3 percent. Al Rajhi is the best performer among
its peers year-to-date, up 10.6 percent while the banking
sub-index is down 5.5 percent in 2016.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical jumped 2.9 percent to
5.35 riyals after the company made a net loss of 216.3 million
riyals in the three months to March 31; the average estimate of
three analysts polled by Reuters was for a quarterly loss of
373.8 million riyals.

Analysts at NCB Capital, who had estimated Kayan would make
a net loss of 391 million riyals, said in note on Sunday that
the improvement was due to better gross margins, although they
remained “neutral” on the stock with a target price of 5.20

“Operational issues, a weak outlook and high debt levels are
key risks for the stock,” the note added.

Saudi Basic Industries, the majority shareholder
in Kayan, is scheduled to report earnings in the next few days
and fell 1.0 percent.

Food manufacturer and retailer Halwani Brothers
slumped 6.5 percent after posting a 46.3 percent drop in
first-quarter profit to 13.9 million riyals.

The company said the sharp decline was mainly due to the
devaluation of the Egyptian pound. Halwani derived close to half
its total revenue from Egypt in 2015, according to Thomson
Reuters data.

Another Saudi food manufacturer with a large presence in
Egypt, Savola, which has yet to publish its quarterly
report, dropped 4.3 percent.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 percent as local investors
cashed out of mid- to large-cap stocks. Emaar Properties
and Dubai Financial Market fell 1.5 and 1.9
percent respectively.

But Shuaa Capital, which has been volatile over
the past month, jumped 9.7 percent in heavy trade. There have
been rumours that a major shareholder might be interested in
buying out the financial firm.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas jumped 3.6 percent and
was the most heavily traded share on that bourse. The Abu Dhabi
index rose 0.5 percent.

In Qatar, the main index slipped 0.5 percent, with
vessels operator Qatar Gas Transport down 0.3 percent.


Cairo’s main index gained 0.7 percent as local
investors bought shares after being net sellers last week,
bourse data showed.

Orascom Telecom Media, the most heavily traded
stock, recovered Thursday’s 2.6 percent loss and added 2.8

Investment bank EFG Hermes added 3.0 percent after
the company said it had acquired Egyptian Gulf Bank’s 17.3
percent stake in Tanmeyah Micro Finance for 77.9 million
Egyptian pounds ($8.77 million),taking its total ownership to
94 percent.

Juhayna Food Industries rose 1.4 percent after
reporting first-quarter net profit of 80.4 million Egyptian
pounds versus 65.2 million in the same period last year.



* The index fell 1.5 percent to 6,412 points.


* The index dropped 0.7 percent to 3,522 points.


* The index advanced 0.5 percent to 4,556 points.


* The index slipped 0.5 percent to 10,189 points.


* The index added 0.7 percent to 7,517 points.


* The index added 0.3 percent to 5,316 points.


* The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,735 points.


* The index was flat at 1,123 points.

(Editing by Andrew Torchia and Louise Heavens)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Doha deal in doubt; Egypt gains – Reuters}