July 29, 2019 / 8:09 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Poor earnings lead major Gulf markets lower

July 29 (Reuters) - Major Gulf markets dropped on Monday as a string of disappointing corporate earnings hurt the investor sentiment in the region, with Saudi Arabia underperforming other bourses amid falling banking shares.

Saudi’s index was down 0.7% as all its lenders slipped into negative territory with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 1.7% in the biggest drag on the index.

Dallah Healthcare was down 3.8% after its second-quarter profit fell, hurt by increased operating and financing costs.

Food producer Halwani Brothers, which swung to a loss for the same period, also dropped 2.1%. The firm attributed the loss to a higher cost of goods sold in Saudi Arabia, and as sales and distribution expenses mounted in Egypt.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.4%, extending losses from the last session when it snapped eight days of winning streak. Banks dragged the index the most with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, shedding 0.4%.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 2.5% after the country’s second biggest lender reported an 11% drop in second-quarter profit in its first combined proforma financials after it merged with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank earlier this year.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.4%, weighed down by a 1.8% drop in market heavyweight petrochemical maker Industries Qatar ahead of its earnings report later this week, where, EFG Hermes forecast, it will post 47% plunge in second-quarter profit.

Telecommunications firm Ooredoo also shed 2.1% ahead of its first-half results scheduled for later on Monday.

Dubai’s index traded flat with real estate shares gaining and banking shares declining. The emirate’s blue-chip lender Emaar Properties was up 1.4% and top lender Emirates NBD was down 0.9%.

Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry

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