DUBAI Oct 17 Gulf stock markets may be soft on
Monday after global bourses and oil prices pulled back, while
another weak earnings report from a Saudi Arabian bank may
dampen shares in that country.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
is down about 0.6 percent, while Brent crude
futures are below $52 a barrel.
In Saudi Arabia, Alinma Bank reported a 16.8
percent fall in third-quarter net profit to 312 million riyals
($83.2 million); the average forecast of analysts had been 409.1
Many Saudi banks have reported lower third-quarter earnings
as the slow economy worsens loan quality, and although Alinma is
only the kingdom's ninth-largest bank by assets, it is often the
market's most heavily traded stock, a favourite of short-term
Other banks across the region may also underwhelm investors.
Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender and the first
bank to report earnings from the emirate, may weigh on Dubai's
general stock index after posting on Monday flat
third-quarter net profit, narrowly missing analysts' forecasts.
The bank made a net profit of 1.66 billion dirhams ($452
million)compared to 1.67 billion dirhams in the corresponding
period of 2015, according to financial statements. Three
analysts on average forecast the bank would make a net profit
for the quarter of 1.88 billion dirhams.
In Oman, Bank Sohar may seem some selling after
Bank Dhofar said it had ended merger negotiations with
its smaller rival after the two sides were unable to reach
agreement on certain issues related to the
In Kuwait, political uncertainty has risen after the emir
ordered the dissolution of parliament on Sunday, opening the way
to fresh elections; he said "security challenges" in the region
could best be addressed by consulting the popular will.
An election season could further slow austerity measures
which the government is attempting to introduce. However,
Kuwait's finances remain among the strongest in the region and
politics traditionally have little direct impact on the market,
so stocks may move little.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia, Editing by William Maclean)