Saudi shares hit by Q3 earn­ings, re­gion weak

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Saudi Ara­bia’s stock mar­ket fell yes­ter­day after another set of dis­ap­point­ing third-quar­ter earn­ings, while other mar­kets in the re­gion were also weak, in line with the global trend. The Saudi in­dex slipped 1.2 per­cent as Alinma Bank, the most heav­ily traded stock, dropped 2.9 per­cent.

Alinma was the lat­est in a string of Saudi banks to re­port weak quar­terly earn­ings as the slow econ­omy in­creases im­pair­ment charges on loans; it posted a 16.8 per­cent fall in third-quar­ter net profit to 312 mil­lion riyals ($83.2 mil­lion). An­a­lysts had on av­er­age fore­cast 409.1 mil­lion riyals.

Med­i­cal in­surer BUPA Ara­bia, which had dropped 4.7 per­cent on Sun­day after post­ing an 8.9 per­cent drop in its third-quar­ter net in­come, fell a fur­ther 2.9 per­cent. Na­jran Ce­ment lost 3.1 per­cent after reporting a 52 per­cent year-on-year drop in thirdquar­ter net profit. Petro­chem­i­cals gen­er­ally out­per­formed, with top pro­ducer Saudi Ba­sic In­dus­tries, which is ex­pected to re­port quar­terly earn­ings in the next few days, drop­ping only 0.6 per­cent.

Saudi Com­pany for Hard­ware was one of the few gain­ers, ris­ing 2.3 per­cent after reporting a 10.1 per­cent rise in quar­terly net profit. Dubai’s stock in­dex fell 0.9 per­cent in a broad-based de­cline, although the two most heav­ily traded stocks, GFH Fi­nan­cial and builder Drake & Scull , rose 3.9 per­cent and 1.1 per­cent. Abu Dhabi’s in­dex sank 2.2 per­cent be­cause of a steep de­cline by First Gulf Bank, which lost 4.9 per­cent. The only Gulf mar­ket to gain was Qatar, which rose 0.6 per­cent on the back of Qatar Na­tional Bank’s 1.5 per­cent gain. The bank re­ported a 10 per­cent rise in third-quar­ter profit last week.

Egypt’s in­dex lost 2.2 per­cent as in­vest­ment bank EFG Her­mes pulled back 2.9 per­cent. Shares in Bel­tone Fi­nan­cial were briefly sus­pended and then re­sumed trad­ing after the stock’s fair value was mis­stated in a re­port given to the fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor on Sun­day. They last traded at 10.71 pounds, level with Sun­day’s close.

The stock has been dogged by con­tro­versy. In Au­gust, Egypt’s reg­u­la­tor re­quested that Bel­tone ap­point a third party to as­sess the fair mar­ket value of its stock after it jumped more than 550 per­cent. In June, Bel­tone filed a law­suit against the heads of the Cairo stock ex­change and the fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor over the re­peated can­cel­la­tion of trades in its stock.

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