MIDEAST STOCKS-Alinma drags down Saudi index, Qatar…

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, April 29 (Reuters) – After a strong opening on the back of last week’s firm oil prices, Gulf stock markets were mixed on Sunday, with the Qatari index lifted by Industries Qatar´s positive first quarter results and Dana Gas weighing on the Abu Dhabi exchange.

The Saudi index lost 0.3 percent after rising in early trade. Blue chip Saudi Basic Industries Corp lost 0.6 percent despite reporting a 5.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Islamic lender Alinma, one of the most heavily traded stocks, climbed 0.5 percent early on Sunday but had dropped 0.7 percent by the market close. The bank reported a quarterly profit rise of 38 percent year on year.

But according to a note by SICO Research, Alinma was trading at a “demanding valuation” compared to banking peers in Saudi Arabia. The note also said the bank´s dividend yield was “moderate” at 4 percent.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.2 percent, lifted by Shuaa Capital, the market´s most heavily traded stock, which gained 5.7 percent to 1.11 dirhams ($0.3022).

Shuaa began rebounding from an 18-month low last Thursday and is testing technical resistance on its 200-day average, now at 1.14 dirhams, which it has not exceeded since June 2017.

The company said last week it had completed the acquisition of Integrated Capital and brokerage subsidiary Integrated Securities, which became the third company to offer technical short-selling services on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Emaar Malls rose 1.4 percent as it announced a first quarter net profit of 548 million dirhams on Sunday, up from 539 million dirhams one year earlier.

In Abu Dhabi, energy producer Dana Gas, by large the most traded stock on Sunday, dropped 5 percent, pushing the index down 0.2 percent.

Late last week, an English court refused the company´s application to overturn a previous order restraining Dana Gas from distributing dividends to its shareholders for 2017.

A London high court judge ordered Dana to pay any dividends into an English bank account where the funds must be held until the company´s dispute with creditors over its $700 million Islamic bond is resolved, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Qatar’s index gained 0.6 percent as Industries Qatar rose 3.7 percent after posting a 37 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 1.3 billion riyals ($357.06 million); the average forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters had been 1.10 billion riyals.


* The index shed 0.3 percent to 8,225 points.


* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 3,048 points.


* The index dropped 0.2 percent to 4,685 points.


* The index gained 0.6 percent to 9,140 points.


* The index fell 0.7 percent to 4,775 points.


* The index was little changed at 1,263 points.


* The index rose 0.2 percent to 4,734 points.


* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 18,304 points.

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.6408 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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