DUBAI Feb 5 Positive economic data helped to
support Saudi Arabia's stock market in early trade on Sunday
while a fourth-quarter earnings miss by Industries Qatar
dampened trading in Doha.
The Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent in the first 40
minutes with activity focusing on second- and third-tier stocks
including Al Ahsa Development, up 3.7 percent.
Growth in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector accelerated
to its fastest rate for 17 months in January after the
government resumed paying overdue debts to the private sector, a
purchasing managers' index based on a survey of companies showed
In Dubai, the Index climbed 0.4 percent as Shuaa
Capital added 3.1 percent. The company said its board
would meet on Feb. 13 to approve its annual earnings, followed
by a news conference. Investors expect company to detail its
strategy after Abu Dhabi Financial Group bought a 48.36 percent
stake in it last November.
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.3 percent on the back of a
1.6 percent gain by First Gulf Bank.
Qatar slipped 0.3 percent as Industries Qatar
slid 4.8 percent. The petrochemicals, metals and
fertiliser producer posted 63 percent drop in fourth-quarter net
profit to 230 million riyals ($63.2 million); the average
forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters had been for 902.7
The company did not give a reason for the earnings miss, but
recommended a cash dividend for 2016 of 4 riyals per share, less
than the 5 riyals proposed for 2015.
In Kuwait, the index sank 1.9 percent, continuing to
pull back after leaping 19 percent in January. Kuwaiti
newspapers reported the cabinet might be reshuffled or resign
early this week in an effort to avoid a vote of no-confidence in
the minister of information and youth.
Ten Kuwaiti lawmakers filed a motion last week to hold a
vote of no-confidence in the minister after questioning him over
the country's 15-month international sports ban - a sign of
political tensions that could ultimately slow the government's
economic development plans.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet)