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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market gains, but Samba drops on Q2 … – Reuters

DUBAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Saudi stocks edged up in early trade, with gains kept in check by sharp declines in the local market’s third largest bank after it reported a slight dip in second quarter profit.

Samba Financial Group dropped 2.7 percent after it reported net profit of 1.27 billion riyals ($339 million), broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts and down 3.3 percent year on year.

Its shares had jumped 3.4 percent on Sunday after its board recommended a cash dividend of 0.75 riyals for the first half of the year, two-thirds more than the 2016 interim payout.

Electronics and bookstore retailer Jarir fell 0.3 percent. On Monday its board recommended a dividend of 1.45 riyals for the second quarter, up slightly from last year.

Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance slumped 7.2 percent after it reported an 88.1 percent drop in second-quarter net profit, while Trade Union Cooperative Insurance surged 6.7 percent after it more than quadrupled quarterly net income.

The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent.

In Qatar, the index also edged up 0.2 percent.

Doha Insurance jumped 5.4 percent after swinging to a second-quarter net profit of 6.5 million riyals ($1.8 million) from a loss of 1.1 million riyals a year ago.

In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s Eshraq Properties rose 1.1 percent after it swung to a second-quarter net profit of 636,000 dirhams ($173,000) from a loss of 101.4 million dirhams a year ago.

Most other Abu Dhabi shares were weak, dragging the index 0.4 percent lower.

In Dubai, Air Arabia fell 0.9 percent ahead of its quarterly earnings, expected later in the day, and the index was down 0.2 percent as 11 other shares also declined. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and John Stonestreet)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market gains, but Samba drops on Q2 … – Reuters}

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