(Updates with Saudi Arabia, Egypt open)
DUBAI, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian telecommunications firm Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) fell sharply in early trade on Thursday after reporting a fourth-quarter loss, while Egypt’s market extended gains after surpassing a major technical milestone.
Shares in Mobily, the kingdom’s second-biggest mobile operator, tumbled their daily 10 percent limit and Saudi Arabia’s main index was nearly flat.
Mobily made a net loss of 2.28 billion riyals ($607 million), while analysts had forecast a profit of 1.33 billion riyals.
Mobily’s smaller competitor Zain Saudi added 1.4 percent after reporting a reduced fourth-quarter loss of 306 million riyals. Analysts had forecast a loss of 388.5 million riyals.
Egypt’s bourse rose 1.2 percent Global Telecom led gains, surging 4.7 percent. The stock rose its daily 10 percent limit on Wednesday after Algerian news agency TSA cited sources to report that Global Telecom’s $2.6 billion deal to sell a 51 percent stake in local operator Djezzy to the Algerian government would be signed next week.
Also on Wednesday, the Cairo benchmark closed above a major chart barrier at 9,831 points, September’s multi-year peak, to reach to its highest finish since July 2008. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Matt Smith)