DUBAI Oct 16 Banking shares weighed on Saudi
Arabia's stock index in morning trade on Sunday after
the largest listed lender reported third-quarter profit below
expectations, while neighbouring Gulf bourses were also soft.
Riyadh's index pulled back 0.9 percent in the first 40
minutes of trade as National Commercial Bank (NCB)
dropped 3.9 percent after reporting third-quarter net profit of
1.96 billion riyals ($522.7 million), down 1.6 percent from the
same period of 2015. Three analysts had forecast on average that
NCB would make a quarterly profit of 2.31 billion riyals.
NCB, like most other Saudi banks that have already reported
quarterly results, cited higher operating expenses, caused by
higher impairments on financings and investments. The bank is a
key lender to Saudi Arabia's troubled construction sector.
A little over half of listed banks have now posted
third-quarter earnings, and they have generally been flat or
weak; the sector's sub-index fell 1.4 percent early on
In Muscat, National Bank of Oman lost 2.5 percent
after it posted a 15.2 percent fall in third-quarter net profit,
missing analysts' forecasts. The general market index was
down 0.1 percent.
Dubai's index fell 0.4 percent in quiet trade. With
no major companies posting earnings reports, small and mid-sized
shares were the main movers; builder Drake & Scull
retreated 1.2 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.3 percent as the
largest listed stock, Etisalat, dropped 0.8 percent.
Qatar's index of the 20 most valuable companies fell 0.4
percent, with roughly 70 percent of shares declining; Qatar
Insurance lost 1.3 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Mark