April 25, 2017 / 5:10 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Weak earnings may drag Qatar, du may fall on poor results

3 Min Read

DUBAI, April 25 (Reuters) - A disappointing set of quarterly earnings from two Qatari blue chips may weigh on the its index on Tuesday, while Dubai's largest listed telecommunications operator, du, may keep any gains in that market capped as its net income fell short of expectations.

In Qatar, Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan reported a 6.5 percent fall in its first-quarter net profit to 510 million Qatar riyals ($140.1 million), falling short of the 513.3 million riyals and the 518.9 million riyals estimated by analysts.

"The net profits of Masraf Al Rayan realized from its core banking operations in 2017 exceeded those achieved in the first quarter of 2016," the company chairman said in a statement.

Commodities shipper Qatar Navigation (Milaha) made a net profit of 236 million Qatar riyals ($64.81 million) in the three months to March 31, down 33 percent from the prior year period and below the 369.2 million riyals analysts at QNB Financial Services had estimated.

In Dubai, shares of Emirates Integrated Telecommunication , the operator of the du mobile brand, may drag the index lower after reporting a 24 percent fall in its first-quarter net income to 364.9 million dirhams from the year ago period, well below SICO Bahrain's forecast of 447.33 million dirhams and EFG Hermes' 474.02 million dirhams.

The shares of investment firm Shuaa Capital, which are often traded by local day traders, may get a boost after it swung to a first-quarter net profit of 24.8 million dirhams, versus a net loss of 28.5 million dirhams a year earlier.

Shares of developer DAMAC Properties may fall as they trade ex-dividend on Tuesday.

The mood in global equity markets has turned lukewarm, which may offer Dubai and Qatar's bourses some support despite those weak company results. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.6 percent, its highest level in more than three weeks.

Sentiment towards oil-sensitive shares, however, may remain cautious, as he international benchmark for crude oil Brent , which has fallen in six consecutive sessions, was trading at $51.84 a barrel at 0500 GMT, near a four-week low. ($1 = 3.6413 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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