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Stock News: Gulf Markets May Extend Gain On Strong Q4 Results

Stock News: Gulf Markets May Extend Gain On Strong Q4 Results

Several regional companies published positive fourth-quarter earnings.

Gulf equity markets may extend their recent gains on Monday after several companies published positive fourth-quarter earnings, although oil’s weakness could restrain any rises.

Saudi Arabian banks may see fresh buying after rallying on Sunday following a proposal by Bank Albilad’s board to pay a SAR0.5 per share dividend for 2014, its first payout in at least five years, along with a bonus share issue.

After trading closed, Saudi Hollandi Bank beat analysts’ expectations with a 33 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.

The lender made SAR461.9 million ($123.1 million) in the three months to Dec. 31; analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast it would post, on average, a net profit of SAR433.03 million.

Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest lender by assets, posted a 2.9 per cent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, also beating analysts’ average forecast.

The bank made SAR1.06 billion compared with SAR1.03 billion in the same period of 2013, while analysts had expected a flat quarter.

In Oman, investment firm Al Anwar Holding said late on Sunday that its profit in the three months to Dec. 31 had more than doubled to OMR3.7 million ($9.7 million).

Dubai’s companies have not reported quarterly earnings yet, but investors have been positive about local property stocks in the last few sessions, which could boost property developer Damac when it starts trading on the emirate’s bourse on Monday.

The stock, which is also listed in London through global depositary receipts, closed at $17.55 per GDR last Friday, equivalent to Dhs2.79 per share.

Qatar’s bourse, on the other hand, may remain soft after Industries Qatar, which had disappointed investors with a dividend cut, tumbled its daily 10 per cent limit on Sunday, indicating further potential downside.

On global markets, Asian equities were nearly flat in early trade on Monday while Brent crude traded below $50 after Goldman Sachs analysts lowered their three-month price forecast for the commodity to $42 a barrel from $80.

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