MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets may weaken as oil slips near $30 – Reuters

DUBAI Feb 11 Stock markets in the Middle East
may come under pressure on Thursday after oil prices reversed
back near $30, although Egypt may find support from a blue-chip
lender’s strong earnings.

Brent futures are now slightly above $30 a barrel –
a psychologically important level for investors in the Gulf.
Since the start of the year, drops below that level have
resulted in sharp sell-offs in regional equities.

Dubai’s index, which has been outperforming its
regional peers, could weaken after the largest listed real
estate developer, Emaar Properties, posted earnings at
the low end of expectations.

Emaar reported near-flat quarterly net profit of 1.03
billion dirhams ($281 million), after taking a writedown related
to a fire at one of its hotels on New Year’s Eve. An analyst at
SICO Bahrain had forecast 1.08 billion dirhams. The stock fell
1.3 percent before the results were announced.

Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is building its
huge amusement park project, posted a 2015 loss of 109 million
dirhams compared to a 21 million dirham loss a year earlier.

But Kuwait’s largest telecommunications operator by
subscribers, Zain, may trade up after it reported an 8
percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, halting a sustained
earnings slump as its subscriber base increased.

Egypt’s Commercial International Bank may also
find some buying interest after it recorded fourth-quarter net
profit of 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($192 million), a 46
percent jump from the same period a year earlier. The lender
also brought in record full-year revenues of 10.2 billion
pounds, up 32 percent.

Cairo’s main index rose 1.0 percent on Wednesday,
with foreigners the net buyers by a large margin of more than
two to one, according to stock exchange data.

(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets may weaken as oil slips near $30 – Reuters}

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