Large cap Saudis main drag in Riyadh index fall
DISAPPOINTING second-quarter results from large cap Saudi Arabian companies were the main drag on the local index yesterday, while neighbouring bourses were mostly weak.
The Riyadh index fell 0.8 percent as the largest petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) lost 1.3 percent after it reported a second-quarter net profit of 3.71 billion riyals ($989.3 million), below analysts’ estimates of 4.6 billion riyals and down by a quarter from the year ago period.
The profit fall stemmed from weaker performance at its iron and steel unit, said chief executive Yousef al-Benyan at a press conference in Riyadh.
The drop in demand for steel was seasonal, driven by the Muslim holidays of Ramadaan and Eid, Benyan said, adding the company would try to reduce expenses and increase production.
Shares in Alawwal Bank shed 4 percent after the country’s oldest bank reported a 40 percent drop in second quarter net profit to 322 million riyals. NCB Capital and EFG Hermes had forecast a bottom line of 369 million riyals and 368.6 million riyals respectively.
The bank said its operating expenses jumped 48.4 percent because of higher impairment charges for credit losses, depreciation and amortisation, and higher rent expenses.
Most other banks have reported earnings with mixed results.
The third largest telecommunications company, Zain Saudi, sank 5.8 percent to 8.83 riyals in very heavy trade after the company reported a net profit of 8 million riyals, significantly below analysts’ estimates of 34.2 million riyals.
Analysts at Alrajhi Capital said that to justify Zain’s valuation at current levels – excluding yesterday’s drop – the company would need to maintain a high growth trajectory with improving margins “over
The drop in demand for steel was seasonal, driven by the Muslim holidays of Ramadaan and Eid
and above first quarter levels”. Alrajhi’s fair value for Zain is 9.5 riyals and it has a “neutral” rating on the stock.
Shares in Saudi Cement dropped 0.6 percent to 50 riyals after reporting a second-quarter net income of 94 million riyals, declining by almost twothirds from last year’s result and well below analysts’ estimate of 131 million riyals.
Shares of the largest medical insurer BUPA Arabia rose 0.3 percent after its net profit rose by 9 percent in the second quarter from the prior year period.
In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.2 percent as Dana Gas, the most traded stock, swung 1.6 percent higher. Dubai’s index closed near flat as 17 shares rose and 10 declined. – Reuters