February 26, 2017 / 5:53 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Milaha Q4 loss may dampen Qatar, Saudi secondary market to open

DUBAI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets may consolidate in quiet trade on Sunday with little fresh news to stimulate trading and the global market environment uninspiring. A surprise loss at Qatar Navigation (Milaha) could dampen the market there.

Major global bourses lost ground on Friday as investors scaled back bets that U.S. President Donald Trump's policies would promote faster economic growth, while Brent crude oil settled down 1.04 percent at $55.99 a barrel.

In Qatar, Milaha swung to a surprise fourth-quarter net loss of 47.7 million riyals ($13.1 million); QNB Financial Services had forecast a profit of 142.4 million riyals.

Shares in seven small companies are to start trading as Saudi Arabia's Parallel Market opens; it has less onerous listing requirements than the main market and aims to attract family firms to list, among others.

Fund managers said activity in the Parallel Market could be slow initially because of investors' lack of familiarity with it, but trading volumes might increase quickly. All Gulf Cooperation Council-incorporated companies and GCC-listed funds can invest in the market. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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