Bank shares drag Saudi and Qatar indices, Dubai developers boost benchmark

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Banking shares slipped in Saudi Arabia and Qatar early on Wednesday as investors digested a mixed bag of results.

Banque Saudi Fransi <1050.SE>, which reported lower second quarter earnings on Tuesday, was down 2.5 percent. The lender disclosed a profit of 921 million riyals ($245.58 million) in the three months to June 30, down from 1.01 billion riyals in the same period of 2017.

National Commercial Bank <1180.SE> lost 0.6 percent, even after the kingdom’s largest lender on Tuesday reported a 6.7 percent rise in second-quarter profit to 2.58 billion riyals.

Arab National Bank <1080.SE> was down 0.8 percent after the lender reported a 8.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 919.1 million riyals.

The Saudi index was little changed, slipping 0.2 percent.

Qatar’s benchmark traded lower, weighed down by Qatar National Bank <QNBK.QA> which was down 2 percent. Other bank stocks also declined. Qatar Islamic Bank <QISB.QA> was down 1.3 percent and Masraf Al Rayan <MARK.QA> was down 0.2 percent.

The Dubai index <.DFMGI> rose, with Emaar Properties <EMAR.DU> seeing the highest trading volume and rising 1.5 percent. The property firm on Tuesday provided a project update on its Dubai creek harbour development.

Other property stocks also rose. Deyaar Development <DEYR.DU> was up 0.9 percent and Union Properties <UPRO.DU> was up 0.6 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, where the index <.ADI> rose 0.5 percent, First Abu Dhabi Bank <FAB.AD> rose 0.7 percent a day after the lender reported a 19 percent year-on-year gain in quarterly profit to 3.1 billion dirhams. Emirates Telecommunications Group <ETEL.AD>, also known as Etisalat, rose 0.3 percent a day after the operator reported a 12.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 2.2 billion dirhams.

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