Shares in Saudi banks rose on the back of positive second-quarter results, while some petchems companies dropped

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A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – Shares in Saudi banks rose on Tuesday on the back of positive second-quarter results, while some petrochemical companies dropped, reflecting a fall in oil prices.

The Saudi index <.TASI> shed 0.5 percent, as companies such as Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co <2350.SE> and National Industrialisation Company <2060.SE> weighed on the index.

Saudi Kayan published its second-quarter financial results on Sunday, showing a net profit of 878.7 million riyals ($234.30 million), up from 242 million riyals during the same period a year earlier. The results were well above average analysts’ expectations of 470 million riyals.

The company, a subsidiary of petrochemical giant SABIC, jumped after the results publication and was up 6.2 percent on Monday.

Another petrochemical, National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee), dropped 3.3 percent on Tuesday, despite posting an increase in second-quarter net profit on Monday, to 295.8 million riyals from 93.6 million riyals a year earlier.

Saudi banks such as Saudi British Bank (SABB) <1060.SE> and Arab National Bank <1080.SE> were up.

SABB, which gained 1.5 percent, proposed a cash dividend of 0.96 riyals per share for the first half of the year. Arab National Bank was up 0.3 percent after announcing on Tuesday a second-quarter profit increase to 919.1 million riyals, from 849 million riyals last year.

In a research note, Arqaam Capital said Arab National Bank stocks were attractive because of “stronger visibility on earnings, improving corporate appetite, and room to optimise funding base”.

In Dubai, where the index <.DFMGI> shed 0.2 percent, trading volume was concentrated on Drake and Scull International (DSI) <DSI.DU>. The company has been lagging because of concerns about its financial position, business outlook and the outcome of an investigation by United Arab Emirates authorities into financial violations by previous management. It gained 1 percent on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index <.ADI> added 0.3 percent, blue-chip First Abu Dhabi Bank <FAB.AD> gained 0.8 percent ahead of the publication of its financial results, which it posted after market close. The bank registered a 19 percent increase in second-quarter net profit, which amounted to 3.1 billion dirhams ($844.04 million).

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Alison Williams)

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