* Banque Saudi Fransi's Q3 results reassure
* Zain Saudi climbs on deal with Saudi Electricity
* Dubai's Drake & Scull retreats from gains on new CEO
* TAQA soars in Abu Dhabi
* Egypt's Qalaa Holdings rebounds after big drop
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, Oct 12 Saudi Arabian banking shares rose
on Wednesday after a major bank posted earnings in line with
analysts' estimates, while other regional stock markets
retreated in line with global shares.
Riyadh's index rose 0.7 percent as all but one of
the 12 listed banks advanced.
Banque Saudi Fransi, the second major Saudi lender
to report third-quarter earnings, gained 2.8 percent after
posting net profit of 1.01 billion riyals ($269 million), a 1.0
percent drop from a year ago but in line with analysts' average
expectation of 1.04 billion riyals. The bank cited higher
expenses and impairment charges.
Saudi Fransi's results reassured the sector. Riyad Bank
had dropped 2.1 percent on Tuesday after it reported
an 18.9 percent slide in third-quarter profit. Riyad closed up
0.5 percent on Wednesday.
Telecoms company Zain Saudi climbed 3.5 percent
after it signed a letter of intent with a unit of utility Saudi
Electricity Co (SEC) to use SEC's fibre optic network,
conduct mutual marketing of products and services, and obtain
new locations for telecommunications towers.
Last week, the government said it would provide
telecommunications operators with "unified licences" allowing
them to offer a full range of services. Analysts said that could
help Zain Saudi compete against market leader Saudi Telecom
, which was down 1.4 percent.
The sombre mood in global markets hit Dubai's index
, which retreated 1.1 percent. Drake & Scull,
which had risen over the last three days, fell 1.4 percent.
Shares in the builder are still up 9.9 percent since it
announced the replacement of its chief executive this week.
Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 percent, with large-cap
shares the main drag. Aldar Properties fell 0.8
percent and telecommunications giant Etisalat lost 0.5
But Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) soared
10.3 percent. Bankers said it planned on Wednesday to tap a bond
issue that it completed in June to raise an additional sum of at
least $500 million.
In Qatar, the main index edged down 0.3 percent with
Qatar National Bank, which earlier this week reported
a 10.2 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, pulling back
Egypt's index of the 30 most valuable shares fell
0.6 percent, taking its losses since the start of the week to
2.2 percent. The largest lender, Commercial International Bank
, fell 2.4 percent.
But investment firm Qalaa Holdings, which had
fallen for several days since it announced a wider quarterly net
loss, rebounded 5.7 percent.
Bahrain's bourse was closed for a public holiday.
* The index gained 0.7 percent to 5,693 points.
* The index lost 1.1 percent to 3,355 points.
* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 4,364 points.
* The index retreated 0.6 percent to 8,186 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 10,403 points.
* The index pulled back 0.1 percent to 5,347 points.
* The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,680 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia, Larry King)