STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Earnings may lift UAE, Qatar; Saudi telecom earnings weak

Reuters Middle East

0540 GMT - Strong earnings reports and positive news from companies listed in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar may lift their bourses on Tuesday, while Saudi Arabian telecommunications firms could come under pressure after missing analyst forecasts.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the largest sharia-compliant lender in the emirate, met analysts' expectations as it posted a 20.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit after trading closed on Monday.

In Qatar, Gulf International Services reported a 39 percent year-on-year jump in net profit to 188.6 million riyals ($51.8 million) and said it was the highest first-quarter revenue and net profit on record.

Another local firm, United Development Co, said it had agreed to sell land plots at its Pearl development worth 1.45 billion riyals ($398 million) to an undisclosed "strategic partner". Its stock jumped 6.3 percent on Monday, apparently in anticipation of the announcement.

In Saudi Arabia, however, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), the kingdom's No.2 telecommunications operator, missed forecasts with a 4.5 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Monday.

Mobily, an affiliate of United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat , made a first-quarter profit of 1.4 billion riyals ($373 million) while analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast it would earn 1.52 billion riyals.

Mobily's main competitor Saudi Telecom Co reported a 54 percent jump in first-quarter profit to 2.39 billion riyals while analysts had expected 2.70 billion riyals.

Asian stock markets are weak on Tuesday on concerns about earnings and a potential share oversupply in China. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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