DUBAI Oct 16 Stock markets in the Gulf may
start the week on a lower footing as global markets offer little
positive impetus and after some third-quarter banking sector
earnings missed estimates.
On Friday, stocks in Europe rose more than 1 percent and an
index of global equities gained. But Wall Street pared its gains
to close just above break-even as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen rattled investors when she said aggressive steps
might be needed to address an economy whose potential was
slipping. Brent oil futures settled down 0.2 percent at
$51.95 a barrel; for the week, they closed flat.
In Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank may be
the main drag on the market after the kingdom's largest listed
lender posted a 1.6 percent drop in third-quarter net profit to
1.96 billion riyals ($523 million), missing analysts' average
expectation for 2.31 billion riyals.
The bank cited higher impairment charges for the fall in
profits. NCB is a one of the major lenders to the troubled
In Oman, the banking sector may weigh on the stock index
after the second- and third-largest lenders reported
sluggish third-quarter results.
Bank Dhofar posted flat third-quarter net profit
of 10.67 million rials ($27.75 million), at the lower end of
analysts' expectations. National Bank of Oman posted a
15.2 percent fall in third-quarter net profit, missing analysts'
But Ooredoo Oman, the sultanate's second biggest
telecommunications operator which is majority-owned by Qatar's
Ooredoo, reported a 24.5 percent jump in third-quarter
net profit to 12.7 million rials, at the high end of analysts'
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)