February 12, 2018 / 8:03 AM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds, rest of region sluggish

DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rebounded on Monday as global equities and oil prices regained some strength after last week’s tumble, but other Gulf bourses moved little, with Qatar’s index restrained by its biggest bank going ex-dividend.

The Saudi index climbed 0.8 percent in the first 25 minutes as petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries added 1.1 percent and Al Rajhi bank gained 1.6 percent.

Trade Union Cooperative Insurance surged 4.6 percent after reporting an 87 percent leap in fourth-quarter net profit, as gross written premiums increased 35 percent. But Salama Cooperative Insurance fell 2.3 percent after quarterly profit shrank 6 percent.

In Dubai, the index edged down 0.1 percent as amusement park operator DXB Entertainments, the most heavily traded stock, fell 1.6 percent after reporting its net loss widened to 1.12 billion dirhams ($305 million) last year from 485 million dirhams in 2016.

But Air Arabia rose 1.5 percent after swinging to a fourth-quarter profit of 26 million dirhams from a year-ago loss of 33 million dirhams. However, SICO Bahrain had forecast a much higher profit of 68 million dirhams.

In Qatar, the index was almost flat as Qatar National Bank went ex-dividend.

Telecommunications firm Ooredoo dropped 2.0 percent after reporting a 13 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, though annual profit fell 10 percent as currency depreciations in some markets dented revenue.

But overall, gaining stocks far outnumbered losers by 30 to five, with Qatar Insurance Co rising 3.1 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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