Saudi stocks edge up on stable insurers, no earnings boost for QNB

Saudi Arabia’s stock market staged a modest rebound early on Thursday as insurance stocks stabilised, while solid quarterly earnings at Qatar’s biggest bank failed to boost that market.

The main Saudi index, which had sunk 2.2 percent on Wednesday, was up 0.2 percent in the first half-hour.

Twenty-five of the 33 listed insurance firms rose. All but one had dropped on Wednesday because of fears of an industry shakeout caused by a regulatory crackdown.

Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries recovered 0.2 percent and Bank Aljazira, which had plunged for two days after reviving a plan for a big rights issue, lost only 0.6 percent.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.5 percent as Qatar National Bank slipped 0.4 percent. It posted a net profit of 3.60 billion riyals ($989 million) for the three months to Sept. 30, up 5.6 percent from a year ago; EFG Hermes had forecast 3.46 billion riyals and SICO Bahrain, 3.51 billion.

The Dubai index gained 0.3 percent. Loss-making retail and restaurant investment firm Marka rose 0.7 percent after saying shareholders had approved a plan to continue operations; the company will exit its underperforming fashion and sports segments and restructure debt. Source: Reuters