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Business & Economy

Qatar market dragged down by No. 2 bank

Traders monitor screens displaying stock information at Qatar Stock Exchange in Doha. (Reuters)
DUBAI: Gulf stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value, pulling the Qatari stock index 0.2 percent lower.
Shares in Masraf Al Rayan sank 2.7 percent after the bank reported a 9.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to 466 million riyals, below an average 562.5 million riyal forecast by three analysts polled by Reuters.
Qatar National Bank also missed forecasts with a 5.2 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 2.85 billion riyals ($783 million). But the Gulf’s largest lender raised its cash dividend for 2017 to 6 riyals per share and its stock was up 0.7 percent.
Among the gainers, Medicare Group surged 7.0 percent in its heaviest trade since March; it has doubled from its November low.
Saudi Arabia’s index closed 0.1 percent higher at 7,540 points, coming off the day’s high after approaching major technical resistance on last July’s peak of 7,586 points.
Top petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.8 percent, while Saudi Automotive Services rose 1.0 percent after estimating its annual net profit expanded 15 percent, on an 11 percent gain in sales.
In Dubai, the index rose 0.5 percent as the most heavily traded stock, Union Properties, gained 0.9 percent. Emaar Malls was the top performer, adding 2.2 percent, although trading volume fell from Tuesday’s level, which was the highest since early 2016.

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