* Saudi's Mobily slumps on swing to net loss
* Alhokair jumps after rise in net income
* Insurance shares boosted by strong Q1 results
* Dubai weighed down by profit-taking on Union Properties
* First Abu Dhabi Bank and TAQA buoy Abu Dhabi market
* Foreign funds net buyers in Egypt
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, April 24 Saudi Arabian telecoms company
Mobily slumped after worse than expected results on Monday, but
the market was buoyed by stronger quarterly earnings from the
insurance sector, while performance across the rest of the
region was mixed.
Shares of Etihad Etisalat(Mobily) tumbled 6
percent to 21.05 riyals after it swung to a net loss of 163
million riyals ($43.47 million) in the first quarter, compared
with a 20 million riyal net profit a year earlier. Average
analyst expectations were a net loss of 69.39 million riyals.
Mobily attributed its third consecutive quarterly loss to a
drop in revenue and higher interest and financial charges.
"The ongoing losses combined with the strong decline in
sales are the key concerns," said NCB Capital, which has a
"neutral" recommendation on the stock with a price target of 25
The Riyadh index, however, rose 0.1 percent as most
insurance stocks were lifted by the exceptional financial
performance of two companies.
Shares in Company for Cooperative Insurance, one
of the largest insurers by market value, jumped 4.1 percent
after posting net profit that more than doubled to 160.3 million
riyals in the three months to March 31. Malath Cooperative
Insurance, meanwhile, climbed 3.3 percent after its
first-quarter net income more than tripled.
Consumer cyclical shares were mixed, with home-improvement
retailer Saudi Hardware Company(SACO) down 1.9 percent
while bookstore and electronics seller Jarir rose by
0.6 percent, extending gains over the past two sessions to 9.1
Shares in apparel retailer Fawaz Alhokair, which
were suspended on Sunday, surged 10 percent after reporting a
net profit of 79.4 million riyals ($21.2 million) for its fourth
quarter, beating the 3.17 million riyals a year earlier and
analysts' expectation of a 61.7 million riyal net profit.
Analysts at Alrajhi Capital said an improving gross margin,
which had been squeezed over the past few quarters, was
encouraging and the company may be able to maintain a margin of
about 20 percent in the coming quarters.
The Qatar index fell 0.4 percent, dragged lower by
oil-related shares and a 2 percent drop for commodities shipper
Qatar Gas Transport.
Dubai's index, which was shut on Sunday for a
public holiday, was the region's worst performer, down 1.1
The main drag was profit-taking on shares of Union
Properties, which had surged in unusually heavy trade
in the previous session. The developer fell 3.2 percent on
In neighbouring emirate Abu Dhabi, the index added
0.2 percent with support from First Abu Dhabi Bank and
gas explorer Abu Dhabi National Energy, up 1.4 percent
and 3.3 percent respectively.
Investors have been building positions in TAQA on
indications that the financially troubled company had turned a
corner, with a state run utility increasing its stake, and as
the company plans to sell some of its international assets.
Egypt's index recovered a little of the previous
session's 2.8 percent loss, as foreign traders helped it to a
0.3 percent gain, exchange data showed.
Global Telecom Holding, one of the stocks favoured
by international funds, was the top performer with a 3.4 percent
Real estate developer Six of October Development
rose 0.8 percent after reporting a 64 percent jump in
first-quarter contracted sales to 1.2 billion Egyptian pounds
The company attributed the growth to the launching of three
new projects worth 1.7 billion pounds.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,976 points.
* The index declined 1.1 percent to 3,431 points.
* The index added 0.2 percent to 4,531 points.
* The index lost 0.4 percent to 10,154 points.
* The index added 0.3 percent to 12,583 points.
* The index added 0.2 percent to 6,831 points.
* The index lost 0.1 percent to 5,467 points.
* The index edged down 0.1 percent at 1,336 points.
($1 = 18.1700 Egyptian pounds)
(Editing by David Goodman)