Saudi Shares fall on weak earnings, volatile oil

Oct 30 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian shares extended losses on Sunday, weakened by disappointing corporate earnings, volatile energy markets and the expectation the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates next week.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates usually copy any monetary policy change in the United States.

The benchmark index (<.TASI>) in Saudi Arabia declined 0.7%, pulled down by a 2% drop in SABIC Industries (<2010.SE>) shares after the company reported a lower quarterly profit.

The petrochemical maker posted a quarterly net profit after zakat and tax payments of 1.84 billion riyals ($489.62 million), down from 5.6 billion riyals year ago.

Another petrochemical maker Nama Chemicals (<2210.SE>) posted a quarterly loss of 5.4 million riyals compared to a profit of 4.9 million riyals year ago.

Saudi National Bank (<1180.SE>), unable to recoup the losses of last three sessions, settled down at 3.3%, wiping off 8.9 billion riyals from company’s market cap.

The kingdom’s largest bank said on Thursday that it will invest up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.52 billion) in scandal-ridden Credit Suisse Group’s (<CSGN.S>) capital-raising to take an up to 9.9% stake.

On Friday, crude prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – fell as top crude importer China widend its COVID-19 curbs in several cities.

In Qatar, the index (<.QSI>) eased 0.1%, as several stocks were in negative territory including Industries Qatar (<IQCD.QA>), which fell 2%.

The petrochemical company reported a more-than-23% drop in its third-quarter profit to 1.6 billion Qatari riyals ($439.56 million) on Thursday.

The Qatari stock market remains exposed to corrections as natural gas prices could suffer a volatile week, according to Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss.

“The latter could be affected by the lack of processing capacity in Europe and higher-than-expected temperatures on the continent,” he said.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (<.EGX30>) added 0.3%, holding gains for a fifth straight session.

Egypt aims to give income tax breaks to companies of as much as 55% for some, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday.

Shares in Alexandria Container And Cargo Handling rose 7.3% after a 9.1% surge in the previous session.

Earlier, the company recorded 669.20 million Egyptian pounds ($28.12 million) during the first-quarter of fiscal year, an yearly increase of 98.97% from 336.33 million Egyptian pounds.

($1 = 23.8000 Egyptian pounds)

($1 = 3.7580 riyals)

Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain; editing by Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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