MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed but Dubai’s Air Arabia surges – Reuters

DUBAI, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Stock markets in the Gulf were narrowly mixed in sluggish, early trade on Tuesday although Dubai’s Air Arabia rose sharply on better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

Air Arabia surged 6.5 percent, accounting for over a third of the market’s trading volume, after it reported a 19.2 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 150.7 million dirhams ($41.03 million). EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast 95.9 million dirhams and 96.3 million dirhams.

Dubai’s index edged up only 0.1 percent, however, as falling stocks outnumbered gainers 14 to eight. Amlak Finance dropped 1.8 percent despite reporting that it had swung to a small second-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.1 percent as Dana Gas , which is expected to report earnings on Thursday, sank 3.1 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, the index gained 0.3 percent as big food maker Savola added 3.8 percent despite reporting quarterly profit sank to 229.3 million riyals ($61.1 million) from 253.5 million riyals a year ago, as sales declined.

NCB Capital calculated that adjusting for a one-off gain of 62 million riyals from the sale of its Hyper Panda store in Dubai, Savola’s adjusted net income was 167 million riyals, down 34.0 percent. It said this was lower than consensus estimates of 189 million riyals, though in line with NCB’s 170 million riyal forecast.

The profit slide appeared to be partly due to contracting retail margins, NCB added.

Najran Cement fell 1.6 percent after reporting a quarterly loss of 4.2 million riyals versus a year-earlier profit of 33.9 million riyals.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.2 percent but Qatar Navigation (Milaha) gained 2.3 percent after saying on Monday that it was setting up a warehousing and logistics operation at Sohar, on Oman’s northern coast, because economic sanctions by other Gulf states had disrupted its use of Jebel Ali port in Dubai. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed but Dubai’s Air Arabia surges – Reuters}