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Gulf may be soft, bank profits weigh on Saudi

by Paul

Gulf stock markets may be soft on Monday after global bourses and oil prices pulled back, while another weak earnings report from a Saudi Arabian bank may dampen shares in that country.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down about 0.6 percent, while Brent crude futures are below $52 (£42.75) a barrel.

Many Saudi banks have reported lower third-quarter earnings as the slow economy worsens loan quality, and although Alinma is only the kingdom’s ninth-largest bank by assets, it is often the market’s most heavily traded stock, a favourite of short-term retail traders.

Other banks across the region may also underwhelm investors. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender and the first bank to report earnings from the emirate, may weigh on Dubai’s general stock index after posting on Monday flat third-quarter net profit, narrowly missing analysts’ forecasts.

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