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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi index sees biggest fall since May

Credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER

Saudi Arabian shares fell sharply on Sunday in a broad sell-off, while a plunge in Commercial International Bank weighed on the Egyptian index.

By Ateeq Shariff

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian shares fell sharply on Sunday in a broad sell-off, while a plunge in Commercial International Bank COMI.CA weighed on the Egyptian index.

The kingdom's benchmark index .TASI slid 4.1%, its biggest intraday fall since May, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE shedding 4.5% and oil giant Saudi Aramco 2222.SE losing 2.3%.

SABIC, the Gulf's largest petrochemical firm, reported a net profit of 1.09 billion riyals ($290.64 million) in the third-quarter, up from 0.74 billion riyals a year ago. However, the firm reported a drop in quarterly sales.

"It is about time that the Saudi market weakened. The market trades at unsustainably high multiples (low 20s forward multiple) and earnings growth of less than 10%, does not warrant that high valuation," said Khaled Abdel Majeed, fund manager at Mena Capital.

In recent days a Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen has said it had intercepted and destroyed three explosive-laden drones aimed towards the southern region of Saudi Arabia.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 declined 3.5%, weighed down by a 6.9% fall in Commercial International Bank (CIB).

Shares in CIB plunged 10% at Sunday's opening, following the resignation on Friday of CIB chairman Hisham Ezz al-Arab.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI lost 0.4%, dragged down by a 3.4% fall in Emaar Malls EMAA.DU and a 0.8% decline in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI rose 0.3%, helped by a 3.2% jump in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ADCB.AD and a 0.5% increase in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD.

In Qatar, the index .QSI retreated 1.5%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Mesaieed Petrochemical MPHC.QA, which was down 7.1%.

SAUDI ARABIA

.TASI fell 4.1% to 8,155 points

ABU DHABI

.ADI gained 0.3% to 4,568 points

DUBAI

.DFMGI fell 0.4% to 2,177 points

QATAR

.QSI slid 1.5% to 9,808 points

EGYPT

.EGX30 down 3.5% to 10,603 points

BAHRAIN

.BAX lost 0.9% to 1,435 points

OMAN

.MSI added 0.2% to 3,564 points

KUWAIT

.BKP was down 1.2% at 6,158 points

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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