Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Saudi Ara­bian bank­ing shares rose yes­ter­day af­ter a ma­jor bank posted earn­ings in line with an­a­lysts’ es­ti­mates, while other re­gional stock mar­kets re­treated in line with global shares.

Riyadh’s in­dex rose 0.7 per­cent as all but one of the 12 listed banks ad­vanced. Banque Saudi Fransi, the sec­ond ma­jor Saudi lender to re­port third-quar­ter earn­ings, gained 2.8 per­cent af­ter post­ing net profit of 1.01 bil­lion riyals ($269 mil­lion), a 1.0 per­cent drop from a year ago but in line with an­a­lysts’ av­er­age ex­pec­ta­tion of 1.04 bil­lion riyals. The bank cited higher ex­penses and im­pair­ment charges.

Saudi Fransi’s re­sults re­as­sured the sec­tor. Riyad Bank had dropped 2.1 per­cent on Tues­day af­ter it re­ported an 18.9 per­cent slide in third-quar­ter profit. Riyad closed up 0.5 per­cent yes­ter­day.

Tele­coms com­pany Zain Saudi climbed 3.5 per­cent af­ter it signed a let­ter of in­tent with a unit of util­ity Saudi Elec­tric­ity Co (SEC) to use SEC’s fi­bre op­tic net­work, con­duct mu­tual mar­ket­ing of prod­ucts and ser­vices, and ob­tain new lo­ca­tions for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions tow­ers.

Last week, the govern­ment said it would pro­vide telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions op­er­a­tors with “uni­fied li­censes” al­low­ing them to of­fer a full range of ser­vices. An­a­lysts said that could help Zain Saudi com­pete against market leader Saudi Tele­com down 1.4 per­cent.

The som­bre mood in global mar­kets hit Dubai’s in­dex , which re­treated 1.1 per­cent. Drake & Scull, which had risen over the last three days, fell 1.4 per­cent.

Shares in the builder are still up 9.9 per­cent since it an­nounced the re­place­ment of its chief ex­ec­u­tive this week. Abu Dhabi’s in­dex fell 0.2 per­cent, with large-cap shares the main drag. Al­dar Prop­er­ties fell 0.8 per­cent and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Eti­salat lost 0.5 per­cent.

But Abu Dhabi Na­tional En­ergy Co (TAQA) soared 10.3 per­cent. Bankers said it planned yes­ter­day to tap a bond is­sue that it com­pleted in June to raise an ad­di­tional sum of at least $500 mil­lion. In Qatar, the main in­dex edged down 0.3 per­cent with Qatar Na­tional Bank, which ear­lier this week re­ported a 10.2 per­cent rise in thirdquar­ter net profit, pulling back 0.2 per­cent.

Egypt’s in­dex of the 30 most valu­able shares fell 0.6 per­cent, tak­ing its losses since the start of the week to 2.2 per­cent. The largest lender, Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank , fell 2.4 per­cent. But in­vest­ment firm Qalaa Hold­ings, which had fallen for sev­eral days since it an­nounced a wider quar­terly net loss, re­bounded 5.7 per­cent. Bahrain’s bourse was closed for a pub­lic hol­i­day. — Reuters

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