DUBAI Feb 21 Most Gulf stock markets fell early
on Tuesday with Dubai hit once again by weakness in construction
firm Arabtec after the company reported a
fourth-quarter loss and plans for a rights issue a week ago.
Dubai's index lost 0.6 percent as Arabtec, which
plunged its 10 percent daily limit to a five-year low on Monday,
slid a further 2.2 percent. Shares in Drake & Scull,
another builder which has been struggling financially, rebounded
Abu Dhabi climbed 0.5 percent as telecommunications
firm Etisalat rose 1.4 percent. The company said it
would pay the federal government a royalty of 30 percent of
profits for 2017-2021, the same rate as in 2016.
Qatar edged down 0.2 percent as Qatar Gas Transport
Co (Nakilat) slipped 5.2 percent after its
fourth-quarter net profit fell to 207 million riyals ($57
million). QNB Financial Services had predicted 241 million
The company's board recommended a cash dividend of 1 riyal
per share, down from 1.25 riyals for 2015.
Al Meera Consumer Goods jumped 5.2 percent after
saying its 2016 net profit climbed to 199.2 million riyals. It
proposed a dividend of 9 riyals per share.
Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.1 percent in the
first half-hour as telecommunications firm Zain Saudi
surged 3.3 percent after it said the government had issued it a
unified licence allowing it to provide all telecommunications
The Capital Market Authority announced last October that as
part of economic reforms to cut Saudi Arabia's dependence on
oil, the government would provide operators with unified
licences letting them offer a full range of services.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet)