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MIDEAST STOCKS-Third-quarter bank results may weigh on Gulf
October 16, 2016 / 5:51 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Third-quarter bank results may weigh on Gulf

DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may start the week on a lower footing as global markets offer little positive impetus and after some third-quarter banking sector earnings missed estimates.

On Friday, stocks in Europe rose more than 1 percent and an index of global equities gained. But Wall Street pared its gains to close just above break-even as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen rattled investors when she said aggressive steps might be needed to address an economy whose potential was slipping. Brent oil futures settled down 0.2 percent at $51.95 a barrel; for the week, they closed flat.

In Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank may be the main drag on the market after the kingdom’s largest listed lender posted a 1.6 percent drop in third-quarter net profit to 1.96 billion riyals ($523 million), missing analysts’ average expectation for 2.31 billion riyals.

The bank cited higher impairment charges for the fall in profits. NCB is a one of the major lenders to the troubled construction sector.

In Oman, the banking sector may weigh on the stock index after the second- and third-largest lenders reported sluggish third-quarter results.

Bank Dhofar posted flat third-quarter net profit of 10.67 million rials ($27.75 million), at the lower end of analysts’ expectations. National Bank of Oman posted a 15.2 percent fall in third-quarter net profit, missing analysts’ forecasts.

But Ooredoo Oman, the sultanate’s second biggest telecommunications operator which is majority-owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo, reported a 24.5 percent jump in third-quarter net profit to 12.7 million rials, at the high end of analysts’ forecasts. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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