The Financial Express

Mideast stocks move sideways in early trading

| Updated: January 18, 2018 12:48:54

Gulf stock markets slow at opening

Mideast stocks moved sideways in early trade on Wednesday with shares in top Qatari banks mixed after they reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The Qatari stock index was almost flat. Qatar National Bank was up 0.7 per cent; SICO Bahrain had forecast 3.54 billion riyals, while EFG Hermes expected 3.30 billion riyals, reports Reuters.

The bank’s board recommended a cash dividend of 6 riyals per share for 2017, compared to the proposal for the previous year of 3.5 riyals per share plus a bonus share dividend.

But Masraf Al Rayan sank 2.4 per cent after reporting a 9.6 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to 466 million riyals. Three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an average 562.5 million riyals.

Medicare Group surged 4.9 per cent in heavy trade to 82.30 riyals, approaching technical resistance on the July peak of 87.70 riyals. It has doubled from its November low.

Saudi Arabia’s index was almost flat after half an hour of trade. Saudi Automotive Services rose 1.6 per cent after estimating its annual net profit rose 15 per cent, on an 11 per cent gain in sales.

Indexes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were also flat.

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