February 15, 2018 / 5:44 AM / 9 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Global environment positive, Gulf earnings mostly lacklustre

DUBAI, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The global market environment is positive for Gulf stock markets on Thursday although mostly lacklustre corporate earnings in the region may limit any strength in stocks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 1.3 percent after a similar rise by Wall Street overnight, and Brent oil has recovered a little of its big losses in recent weeks, trading at $64.84 per barrel.

Corporate earnings, however, are largely mediocre. Dubai’s Union Properties reported an annual net loss of 2.38 billion dirhams ($649 million) compared to a year-earlier profit of 211.4 ‍​million dirhams; the figures imply a fourth-quarter loss of roughly 90 million dirhams.

United Arab Emirates telecommunications firm Etisalat reported a 12 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit to 1.97 billion dirhams, according to Reuters calculations; SICO Bahrain had forecast 2.21 billion dirhams.

However, Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties proposed a 12 fils per share dividend for 2017, up from 11 fils in 2016.

And in Kuwait, Burgan Bank may attract some interest after recommending a 7 percent cash dividend and 5 percent bonus share dividend; for 2016, it had paid a 5 percent cash dividend and 5 percent bonus shares.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia

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