DUBAI Oct 9 Banking shares dragged Saudi
Arabian stocks lower in early trade on Sunday while markets in
the rest of the region moved little as investors readied for
third-quarter corporate earnings announcements.
The Saudi stock index fell 0.5 percent in the first
75 minutes as the banking index dropped 0.9 percent.
The central bank has told commercial banks to postpone for a
month receiving payments on consumer loans to customers whose
incomes have been hit by cuts to public sector allowances, the
Okaz newspaper reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources.
Central bank officials were not available to comment.
Telecommunications firm Zain Saudi fell 2.7
percent, continuing a pull-back after surging early last week on
hopes it would benefit from deregulation of the sector.
Retailer Jarir Marketing climbed 3.1 percent after
it reported a net profit of 220 million riyals ($58.7 million)
for the three months to Sept. 30, up from 218.5 million riyals a
year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted 200.6
Dairy company Almarai gained 1.4 percent after
reporting a 10 percent increase in third-quarter net profit to
654.6 million riyals. Analysts had forecast 627.8 million.
Dubai's index was flat. The most heavily traded
stock, DXBE Entertainments, climbed 1.3 percent before
it opens theme park facilities at the end of this month.
Abu Dhabi's index dropped 0.5 percent as Abu Dhabi
Islamic Bank sank 1.4 percent, while Qatar was
flat amid a 3.1 percent slide in Qatar Islamic Insurance
In Egypt, the index rose 0.5 percent after a senior
International Monetary Fund official said the IMF's initial loan
payment to Egypt would be about $2.5 billion and that he hoped
to secure board approval for a $12 billion loan programme within
the next month.
El Saeed Contracting and Real Estate jumped 4.7
percent to 0.90 Egyptian pounds after it said it was buying 17
million treasury shares at 0.96 pounds per share.
Investment firm Qalaa Holdings dropped 4.8 percent
after reporting a sharply wider quarterly net loss.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet)