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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi may slip on profit-taking; Mobily may fall on disappointing net loss
April 24, 2017 / 6:04 AM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi may slip on profit-taking; Mobily may fall on disappointing net loss

DUBAI, April 24 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock index may slightly correct on Monday following the previous day’s strong gains on news that public sector workers’ perks have been restored, while shares of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), the country’s second largest telecommunication operator, may fall on disappointing net loss.

On Sunday, the Saudi index jumped 1.0 percent in above 10-day average traded volume on news that September’s civil servant allowance cut has been restored by the way of royal decree.

Consumer stocks like bookstore and electronics seller Jarir were some of the chief gainers, but some profit-taking on the knee-jerk reaction cannot be ruled out on Monday.

Mobily swung to a net loss of 163 million riyals ($43.47 million) in the first quarter, compared with a net profit of 20 million riyals in the prior-year period. The average of four analysts’ forecast was a net loss of 69.39 million riyals.

Mobily attributed the net loss to a fall in revenue and the “change in the revenue mix towards more data revenues” and higher interest and financial charges because of higher interest rates.

The company has now reported a net loss in five of the last eight quarters.

Strong quarterly reports from insurers, whose shares are often traded by local day traders, however, may attract buyers.

Company for Cooperative Insurance, one of the largest insurers by market value, reported a little more than doubling of net profit in the three months to March 31 to 160.3 million riyals. Smaller sized Malath Cooperative Insurance reported a little more than tripling in its first-quarter net profit.

In Dubai, Commercial Bank of Dubai announced a first-quarter net profit of 160.1 million dirhams, down 33.5 percent from the year-ago period. Shares of the lender, however, are often very sparsely traded.

The global environment, however, may be generally supportive of other regional markers, after the market’s favoured candidate won through the first round of the French election. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 climbed 0.8 percent in early trade and MSCI Shares ex Japan was up 0.3 percent. ($1 = 3.7498 riyals) (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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