DUBAI, May 2 (Reuters) - Shares in petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) fell in early trade on Tuesday after the company reported first- quarter results, while most equities in the Gulf were sluggish as oil prices traded near five-week lows.
SABIC posted a first-quarter net profit of 5.24 billion riyals ($1.40 billion), up 80 percent from the same period last year and broadly in line with analysts’ average forecast of 5.35 billion riyals, but its shares were down 0.8 percent after an hour of trade.
The Saudi stock index edged up by 0.2 percent but Emaar the Economic City (EEC) jumped by 4 percent in active trade ahead of a Saudi television interview with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that television executives said would be broadcast later in the day.
Prince Mohammed is expected to discuss government plans to expand housing and industrial projects in the kingdom as part of economic reforms that could benefit EEC, which is developing a huge industrial zone including residential space.
Elsewhere, large-cap companies carried the Dubai index 0.1 percent higher, with Emaar Properties up 1.1 percent and Dubai Investments adding 2.4 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, however, blue chips weighed on the index , which fell 0.3 percent. Telecoms operator Etisalat was down 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank dropped by 1.1 percent.
Commodities-related shares were the main drag on the Qatar index, which was down by 0.2 percent. Petrochemicals maker Industries Qatar fell 1.2 percent and oil shipper Qatar Gas Transport lost 1.4 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and David Goodman)