DUBAI May 4 Stock markets in the Gulf pulled
back in early trade on Thursday, following global bourses and
oil down, though some shares outperformed in response to
Riyadh's index was down 0.3 percent after half an
hour of trade as 95 shares declined and 22 rose.
National Shipping Company (Bahri) rose 0.6
percent; the crude oil transporter reported quarterly net income
of 378.9 million riyals ($101 million), down 38.2 percent from a
The company said lower commodity prices and higher bunker
costs weighed on its bottom line but its fleet expansion had
helped it to expand market share.
Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co rose 1.6 percent
after it reported full-year net profit of 301.8 million riyals,
up 15.7 percent, though revenue fell 6.3 percent.
The company attributed the rise mainly to low soft commodity
costs and "careful expense management". The board recommended an
annual cash dividend of 4 riyals per share.
Saudi Airlines Catering fell 0.8 percent after its
board recommended a cash dividend for the first quarter of 1.25
riyals, lower than the 1.75 riyals it distributed a year ago.
The company's net profit fell 6.9 percent to 121.4 million
riyals, while total revenue decreased 5 percent.
In Dubai, builder Arabtec climbed 1.2 percent
after it swung to a first-quarter net profit of 17.6 million
dirhams ($4.8 million) from a loss of 46.4 million dirhams a
year ago - its first quarterly profit since September 2014.
General and administrative expenses fell by around 17
million dirhams and revenue rose 11 percent to 2.2 billion
The Dubai index was almost flat as eight other
shares rose while 18 declined.
In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.6 percent as most blue
chips fell. First Abu Dhabi Bank and Aldar Properties
were each down 0.9 percent.
Qatar's index headed for a third consecutive session
of declines. Eighty percent of blue chips fell with
petrochemical producer Industries Qatar down 1.1
percent as Brent oil fell below $50.50 a barrel.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia/Keith