|Published : 16 Oct 2016, 15:21:57|
Gulf markets mostly sluggish at opening
Gulf markets were mostly soft on Sunday morning, while banking shares weighed on Saudi Arabia's stock index after the largest listed lender reported third-quarter profit below expectations.
Riyadh's index pulled back 0.9 per cent in the first 40 minutes of trade as National Commercial Bank (NCB) dropped 3.9 per cent.
The bank slipped after reporting third-quarter net profit of 1.96 billion riyals ($522.7 million), down 1.6 per cent from the same period of 2015.
Three analysts had forecast on average that NCB would make a quarterly profit of 2.31 billion riyals.
NCB, like most other Saudi banks that have already reported quarterly results, cited higher operating expenses, caused by higher impairments on financings and investments.
The bank is a key lender to Saudi Arabia's troubled construction sector.
A little over half of listed banks have now posted third-quarter earnings, and they have generally been flat or weak; the sector's sub-index fell 1.4 per cent early on Sunday.
In Muscat, National Bank of Oman lost 2.5 per cent after it posted a 15.2 per cent fall in third-quarter net profit, missing analysts' forecasts. The general market index was down 0.1 per cent.
Dubai's index fell 0.4 per cent in quiet trade. With no major companies posting earnings reports, small and mid-sized shares were the main movers; builder Drake & Scull retreated 1.2 per cent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.3 per cent as the largest listed stock, Etisalat, dropped 0.8 per cent.
Qatar's index of the 20 most valuable companies fell 0.4 per cent, with roughly 70 per cent of shares declining; Qatar Insurance lost 1.3 per cent, according to a news agency report.