DUBAI May 2 Shares in petrochemicals giant
Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) fell in early trade on Tuesday
after the company reported first- quarter results, while most
equities in the Gulf were sluggish as oil prices traded near
SABIC posted a first-quarter net profit of 5.24
billion riyals ($1.40 billion), up 80 percent from the same
period last year and broadly in line with analysts' average
forecast of 5.35 billion riyals, but its shares were down 0.8
percent after an hour of trade.
The Saudi stock index edged up by 0.2 percent but
Emaar the Economic City (EEC) jumped by 4 percent in
active trade ahead of a Saudi television interview with Deputy
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that television executives said
would be broadcast later in the day.
Prince Mohammed is expected to discuss government plans to
expand housing and industrial projects in the kingdom as part of
economic reforms that could benefit EEC, which is developing a
huge industrial zone including residential space.
Elsewhere, large-cap companies carried the Dubai index
0.1 percent higher, with Emaar Properties up
1.1 percent and Dubai Investments adding 2.4 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, however, blue chips weighed on the index
, which fell 0.3 percent. Telecoms operator Etisalat
was down 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
dropped by 1.1 percent.
Commodities-related shares were the main drag on the Qatar
index, which was down by 0.2 percent. Petrochemicals
maker Industries Qatar fell 1.2 percent and oil
shipper Qatar Gas Transport lost 1.4 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and David