February 14, 2018 / 8:08 AM / in 5 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar climbs, other major Gulf bourses move little early on

DUBAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday as local institutional investors chased shares left behind in the bourse’s latest rally, but other major markets in the Gulf moved little.

The Qatari index climbed 1.1 percent as Gulf Warehousing, which had been trading near two-month lows, rose 1.7 percent and Qatar Insurance added 2.7 percent.

Industries Qatar gained 0.7 percent after reporting annual net profit of 3.32 billion riyals ($912 million), up from 2.96 billion riyals in 2016, and lifting its proposed annual cash dividend back to 5 riyals per share from 4 riyals. Reuters calculations indicated fourth-quarter profit jumped to 960 million from 230 million riyals.

Saudi Arabia’s index was flat after 45 minutes as telecommunications firm Mobily slipped 4.7 percent after the company reported its fourth-quarter net loss more than doubled from a year earlier to 181.7 million riyals ($48.45 million) on declining customer numbers. The loss was in line with analysts’ estimates.

Tabuk Agricultural Development Co rose 3.2 percent after it issued a statement describing 60 million riyals ($16 million) of fresh investment.

In Dubai, the index fell 0.4 percent as GFH Financial slipped 1.5 percent after reporting that annual net profit roughly halved, and its board cut the proposed annual cash dividend to 8.7 percent from the previous year’s 10 percent.

Builder Drake & Scull sank 2.7 percent after swinging to a very small fourth-quarter profit from a big third-quarter loss. But builder Arabtec added 1.2 percent after swinging to an annual net profit of 123.1 million dirhams ($33.5 million) from a year-earlier loss of 3.41 billion dirhams, roughly in line with expectations.

Courier firm Aramex surged 4.1 percent. It had jumped 7.3 percent on Tuesday after reporting a 25 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 165 million dirhams ($45.0 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s estimate of 115 million dirhams. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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