Middle East Stocks Mixed

MidEast shares were mixed, with Dubai sinking on more losses from Arabtec. Arabtec reported last week a wider Q4 net loss from the year-ago period and said its board was seeking shareholder approval for a 1.5 billion dirham ($408.4 million) rights issue.Dubai Financial Market (DFM) dropped in line with Arabtec. Analysts speculate investors who were hurt by the plunge in Arabtec might be pulling out of the stock market, which would lower trading volumes and dent DFM’s commissions.

In other company news, Etisalat said it would pay the federal government a royalty of 30% of profits for 2017-2021, the same as in 2016. Al Meera Consumer Goods said 2016 net profit climbed to 199.2 million riyals ($54.7 million) and proposed a dividend of 9 riyals per share.

Qatar Gas Transport Co said Q4 net profit fell to 207 million riyals, below estimates by QNB Financial Services for 241 million riyals. The company’s board also recommended a lower cash dividend.

By Caroline Williams