DUBAI Oct 10 Gulf stock markets may consolidate
on Monday with any major buying of shares deterred by concern
over Saudi Arabia, where bank shares dropped sharply on Sunday.
The Saudi stock index sank 2.2 percent on Sunday as
as the banking index tumbled 4.5 percent. Banks have
been hit in recent weeks by concern the slumping construction
sector could saddle them with bad debt, and by authorities'
decision to have them reschedule consumer loans to customers
whose incomes have been hit by cuts to public sector allowances.
On Sunday the Okaz newspaper reported, citing unnamed
sources, that the central bank had told banks to postpone for a
month receiving payments on such loans as part of the
While banks' balance sheets are healthy and bad loans are
very low, so most analysts don't see a systemic threat to the
sector, the Okaz report was a fresh sign that banks are being
required to bear much of the burden of Saudi Arabia's austerity
In Dubai, troubled construction and engineering company
Drake & Scull International, whose shares have been
slumping partly because of its exposure to Saudi Arabia, may
trade actively after it abruptly appointed Wael Allan as its new
chief executive, replacing Khaldoun Tabari. It is expected to
publish third-quarter earnings in the next few
The global market environment is slightly negative, with
international stock markets barely changed and benchmark Brent
oil down 44 cents at $51.49 a barrel.
Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's biggest listed
lender, is expected to announce third-quarter earnings after the
close on Monday.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)