MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS
published yesterday, found 36 percent expect to increase their allocations to Saudi equities over the next three months, and 14 percent to reduce them. That is the most bullish balance for Saudi Arabia since July, and compares to ratios of 14 percent and 29 percent in September’s survey.
Elsewhere, Dubai’s index rose 0.4 percent as Emaar Properties climbed 0.9 percent. But courier Aramex dropped 3.8 percent after its third-quarter earnings came in at the low end of expectations. Aramex reported a 3 percent fall in profit to 72.2 million dirhams ($19.7 million). EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast 75.8 million dirhams and 77.1 million dirhams. Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.3 percent on the back of the two biggest banks, which plan to merge early next year. National Bank of Abu Dhabi climbed 2.3 percent and First Gulf Bank 1.8 percent.
Qatar gained 0.3 percent. Telecommu nications operator Ooredoo closed 3.1 percent higher after initially falling when it reported a 51 percent drop in third-quarter net profit to 370 million riyals ($101.6 million); the average forecast of analysts polled by