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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity may drop, Saudi insurers rise on Q4 results
January 18, 2017 / 5:55 AM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity may drop, Saudi insurers rise on Q4 results

DUBAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shares in Saudi Electricity Co may be sold on Wednesday after it reported a wider net loss, but fourth-quarter earnings could buoy Saudi insurance stocks.

Saudi Electricity posted a quarterly loss of 2.34 billion riyals ($624 million), much worse than NCB Capital’s forecast of a loss of 1.04 billion riyals. The company cited higher energy prices and operating costs.

Insurers, however, may be bought after five of them reported strong growth in fourth-quarter earnings. Saudi United Cooperative Insurance saw a doubling in net income from the same quarter last year, while United Cooperative Assurance swung to a net profit from a loss.

Mid-sized Alinma Bank made 390 million riyals in the fourth quarter, a 1 percent rise, in line with analysts’ average forecast of 389 million riyals. This may ease investors’ concerns about bank earnings after Riyad Bank’s disappointing results earlier in the week.

Advanced Petrochemical may fare well after reporting a 43.8 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit, citing growth in sales volumes and product prices.

Apart from the Saudi earnings, there is little fresh corporate news in the Gulf, leaving investors with few factors to trade on. Asian stock markets are marginally higher but Brent crude oil pulled back slightly overnight to below $56 a barrel. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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