* Saudi deputy crown prince outlines economic policies
* But gives few details on expenditure, time frame
* Advanced Petrochemical sags on Q1 earnings
* Dubai-listed GFH pulls back despite strong Q1
* Qatar's Ooredoo slips; fresh competition in Oman
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, May 3 Saudi Arabian stocks fell on
Wednesday after oil prices slipped, while an interview by the
top economic policy official, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman, did little to boost sentiment. Other regional bourses
were mixed in quiet trade.
Advanced Petrochemical dropped 2.5 percent after
the polypropylene maker posted first-quarter net income of 124
million riyals ($33.1 million), down 12.9 percent from a year
ago and below NCB Capital's prediction of 149 million riyals.
Other petrochemical makers were also weak after Brent crude
slipped below $51 a barrel overnight to its lowest close this
year. Riyadh's stock index lost 0.6 percent in modest
The prince said the government would focus on investing in
the mining sector, developing the weapons industry, supporting
growth of an auto industry and improving the kingdom's
logistics, both sea and air.
He also said authorities would announce a programme to
address Saudi Arabia's shortage of private housing in the third
quarter of this year. But he did not give a time frame or
expected expenditure on those projects.
Among companies that could benefit from the government's
industrial investment, Emaar the Economic City edged
up 0.3 percent, extending the previous session's 4.6 percent
gain, but Saudi Automotive Services gave back most of
Tuesday's rise and fell 2.9 percent.
Saudi Mining Co (Ma'aden) the only listed company
directly involved in mining, edged up 0.5 percent. National
Metal Manufacturing and Casting rose 0.7 percent.
Small ground freight and logistics company Batic Investments
and Logistics added 1.4 percent in active trade.
Elsewhere, Dubai's index edged down 0.5 percent as
Bahraini investment firm GFH Financial slumped 8.9
percent. The company reported quarterly net income attributable
to shareholders of $31.91 million, up from $6.06 million a year
earlier, but the stock had already risen sharply over the past
week in anticipation of strong earnings.
Twenty-two other shares declined in Dubai, including builder
Arabtec, which fell 2.4 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 0.6 percent as the
largest listed lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, climbed
Qatar's index lost 0.4 percent to a five-month low as
telecommunications operator Ooredoo dropped 2.3
percent. Its Omani unit looks set to face fresh competition
after Abu Dhabi's Etisalat joined Saudi Telecom
and Kuwait's Zain Group in bidding for
Oman's third mobile licence.
Kunal Damle, senior institutional sales broker at SICO
Bahrain, said all the bidders had a strong cash position and
would not need to raise debt to operate in Oman. He believes
Saudi Telecom and Zain stand the best chances of winning.
"From a consumer's standpoint, Oman would be better off with
the product offering from STC's VIVA brand. However, the
decision may hinge on the fact that Kuwait is a big investor in
the sultanate," Damle added.
At present, Oman Telecommunication and Ooredoo Oman
both have equal market shares of around 41 percent.
Omantel was flat on Wednesday while Ooredoo Oman lost 0.4
The Egyptian index added 0.6 percent in thin trade
with declining stocks in the broad market outnumbering gainers
by 93 to 71.
* The index fell 0.6 percent to 6,968 points.
* The index lost 0.5 percent to 3,419 points.
* The index added 0.6 percent to 4,581 points.
* The index fell 0.4 percent to 9,955 points.
* The index added 0.6 percent to 12,604 points.
* The index gained 0.6 percent to 6,799 points.
* The index lost 0.6 percent to 1,331 points.
* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 5,492 points.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)