Sabic earnings report boosts Saudi Arabian stock market

Saudi Basic Industries helped lift Riyadh’s stock market early on Wednesday after it reported a third-quarter net profit at the top end of forecasts, but a loss at Qatar’s third-largest bank dragged that market lower.

Riyadh’s stock index was up 0.4 per cent after half an hour of trade.

Sabic, the Gulf’s largest petrochemical producer, climbed 1.5 per cent after posting a net profit of 5.22 billion Saudi riyals in the three months to September 30, down 6.8 per cent from a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average predicted 5.05bn riyals.

The company attributed the profit fall to lower average sales prices and a reduction in the quantity of products sold, outweighing benefits gained from a decrease in costs.

Roughly two-thirds of Saudi petrochemical producers have now reported third-quarter earnings, with generally weak results. Nama Chemicals, a mid-sized producer, said it made a wider loss in the third quarter of 32.6m riyals versus a loss of 24m riyals in the same period of 2015. Its shares were down 1.1 per cent.

Emaar the Economic City, developer of an industrial city near Jeddah, dropped 1.6 per cent after reporting a third-quarter net loss of 81m riyals versus a profit of 8m riyals a year ago.

Middle East Healthcare jumped 6.3 per cent after its quarterly net income rose 1.4 per cent to 92m riyals.

In Qatar, the index pulled back 0.6 per cent as Commercial Bank of Qatar slipped 4.6 per cent. The bank made a net attributable loss of 1.04m Qatari riyals in the third quarter versus a profit of 275.9m riyals a year earlier; analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a profit of 281.7m riyals.

The bank cited provisions for non-performing loans, after former Australia and New Zealand Banking Group banker Joseph Abraham was appointed chief executive in July.

Medicare Group sank 2.9 per cent after reporting an 85 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit to 4.8m riyals.

Qatar Insurance was down 1.3 per cent on a 6 per cent fall in third-quarter profit to 108.8m riyals, considerably below EFG Hermes’ forecast of 312m riyals.

In Dubai, the index was down 0.2 per cent in quiet trade as no major companies posted fresh results. Dubai Investment lost 1.0 per cent.

* Reuters

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