* Saudi regulator to exempt firms from initial Q4 statements
* Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan plunges
* Investors look beyond DSI’s poor Q3
* Qatar hits new six-year low as Ezdan sags further
* Global Telecom drags down Egypt
By Andrew Torchia
DUBAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Major Gulf stock markets fell on Wednesday, partly because of retreating global equities and oil prices, though builder Drake & Scull surged in Dubai despite a heavy quarterly loss.
The Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (CMA) issued a statement before the market opened saying that listed companies would be exempt from publishing fourth-quarter financial statements because they are transitioning to the International Financial Reporting Standards style of accounting.
This surprised many fund managers, but the Arabic version of the statement said the exemption applied to “preliminary” financial statements, which seemed to imply that companies would still have to release final statements at a later date.
The CMA did not respond to a request for comment.
Under CMA rules, interim financial statements must be released within 30 days of the end of each period and annual statements within three months of the end of the financial year.
The Saudi index spent most of the day only slightly lower but its losses snowballed towards the close and it finished 1 percent down. Real Estate developer Dar Al Arkan , which had risen in recent days after strong quarterly earnings, plunged by nearly 10 percent.
Petrochemicals company Chemanol fell by 4.8 percent after jumping by its 10 percent daily limit on Tuesday.
Saudi Industrial Export, which this week proposed a capital reduction to write off accumulated losses, slid 5.7 percent.
The Dubai index fell 0.6 percent. But Drake & Scull, the most heavily traded stock, gained 4.1 percent after reporting a third-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of 317.6 million dirhams ($86.5 million) versus a loss of 46.3 million dirhams a year ago.
The company said lack of liquidity before its recapitalisation, which has now been completed, hurt its third-quarter performance and that it would be able to secure funding requirements after restructuring debt in key markets this quarter.
Marie Salem, director of Capital Markets at FFA Dubai, said investors had been expecting poor third-quarter results and were looking ahead to the fourth quarter.
“They believe that DSI has decided to report all losses related to its restructuring in the third quarter, so that it can have a clean fourth quarter and end the year on the positive side.”
Qatar’s index, still feeling the effects of sanctions imposed on Doha by other Arab states since June, sank 1.4 percent to its lowest since March 2011.
Real estate company Ezdan Holding which had dropped 2.3 percent on Tuesday after Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating by two notches into junk territory, plunged a further 6.5 percent. The stock has lost 52 percent this year.
Inflation data released late on Tuesday showed the downturn in Qatar’s real estate market deepened in October because of the sanctions. Housing and utility prices sank 5.4 percent last month from a year earlier — the biggest drop for several years.
Egypt’s index dropped 0.8 percent as Global Telecom lost 1.6 percent to 7.40 Egyptian pounds. It had jumped last week after VEON Holdings, its parent, said it planned a mandatory tender offer for Global shares at 7.90 pounds.
* The index slipped 1.0 percent to 6,912 points.
* The index fell 0.6 percent to 3,468 points.
* The index dropped 0.7 percent to 4,337 points.
* The index lost 1.4 percent to 7,761 points.
* The index dropped 0.8 percent to 14,025 points.
* The index rose 0.6 percent to 6,286 points.
* The index added 0.4 percent to 1,265 points.
* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,111 points. (Editing by David Goodman)