Gulf mixed, insurers help Saudi

DubaiGulf stock markets were mixed despite strong oil prices yesterday while Saudi Arabia’s insurance sector continued to recover from last week’s losses.

The main Saudi index inched up 0.2 per cent. In the insurance sector, which sank last week on expectations for a shakeout in the sector caused by tougher regulation, Malath Insurance surged 9.9pc after the trading period for its rights issue ended, while Metlife AIG ANB jumped 3.6pc.

Banks were mixed. Alinma Bank, which had risen 2.3pc on Monday after it reported better-than-expected earnings, fell back 0.3pc. But Riyad Bank edged up 0.8pc while Alawwal Bank gained 2.1pc.

Among petrochemical stocks, PetroRabigh added another 1.4pc after rising 2.1pc on Monday, but industry leader Saudi Basic Industries was marginally lower.

In Qatar, major bank Masraf al Rayan was almost flat after its third-quarter profit beat estimates. It reported a 6.5pc increase in net profit to 542 million riyals ($149 million); EFG Hermes had forecast 502 million riyals and QNB Financial Services, 508 million riyals.

Qatar National Bank fell 0.5pc, ending a six-day winning streak after it reported solid third-quarter earnings last week. Real estate developer Barwa , which has yet to report earnings, sank 3.3pc, and as a result, Qatar’s stock index fell 0.9pc.

“The region is dominated by retail investors, and they will tend to wait for more corporate results to decide” whether to buy stocks, said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal LLC in Doha. “Even the volumes are not huge these days.”

Dubai’s index edged down 0.4pc as Emaar Properties fell 0.6pc.

Abu Dhabi lost 0.8pc as Dana Gas extended losses and fell a further 2.7pc. It has been sliding since a London court adjourned hearings last week on its attempt to avoid redeeming $700 million of maturing sukuk.

Egypt’s main index closed flat after dropping almost 3pc on Monday on a weak banking sector. Commercial International Bank dropped a further 1.3pc. 


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