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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf dips in early trade following global markets, oil lower
May 4, 2017 / 7:50 AM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf dips in early trade following global markets, oil lower

DUBAI, May 4 (Reuters) - 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 corporate earnings.

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 year ago.

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 dirhams.

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 Weir)

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