DUBAI, April 24 Saudi Arabia's stock index may
slightly correct on Monday following the previous day's strong
gains on news that public sector workers' perks have been
restored, while shares of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily),
the country's second largest telecommunication operator, may
fall on disappointing net loss.
On Sunday, the Saudi index jumped 1.0 percent in
above 10-day average traded volume on news that September's
civil servant allowance cut has been restored by the way of
Consumer stocks like bookstore and electronics seller Jarir
were some of the chief gainers, but some profit-taking
on the knee-jerk reaction cannot be ruled out on Monday.
Mobily swung to a net loss of 163 million riyals ($43.47
million) in the first quarter, compared with a net profit of 20
million riyals in the prior-year period. The average of four
analysts' forecast was a net loss of 69.39 million riyals.
Mobily attributed the net loss to a fall in revenue and the
"change in the revenue mix towards more data revenues" and
higher interest and financial charges because of higher interest
The company has now reported a net loss in five of the last
Strong quarterly reports from insurers, whose shares are
often traded by local day traders, however, may attract buyers.
Company for Cooperative Insurance, one of the
largest insurers by market value, reported a little more than
doubling of net profit in the three months to March 31 to 160.3
million riyals. Smaller sized Malath Cooperative Insurance
reported a little more than tripling in its
first-quarter net profit.
In Dubai, Commercial Bank of Dubai announced a
first-quarter net profit of 160.1 million dirhams, down 33.5
percent from the year-ago period. Shares of the lender, however,
are often very sparsely traded.
The global environment, however, may be generally supportive
of other regional markers, after the market's favoured candidate
won through the first round of the French election. E-mini
futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 climbed 0.8 percent in early trade
and MSCI Shares ex Japan was up 0.3 percent.
($1 = 3.7498 riyals)
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)