October 7, 2018 / 1:06 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petchems down as first quarterly results weigh on soft market

* Advanced Petrochemical posts decline in quarterly net income

* Saudi petchem sector drops

* Almarai's third-quarter net profit below analysts' forecasts

* DSI rises in Dubai

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets mostly slipped on Sunday, following a series of disappointing corporate results in Saudi Arabia and a slide in global stocks.

The Saudi index lost 1.3 percent, with the whole petrochemicals sector in negative territory, despite a rise in oil prices late last week.

Advanced Petrochemical dropped 2.8 percent after reporting a slight decline in quarterly net income to 202 million riyals ($53.86 million). This was above analysts' median forecast of 188 million riyals, according to Refinitiv data.

The company said the drop in net profit was due to an increase in feedstock costs. In a research note NCB Capital said it maintained its overweight rating on the company, adding that “high and sustainable operating efficiency and attractive dividend yield of 5.2 percent are the stock’s key strengths.”

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. was among the worst performers, dropping 4.4 percent.

Blue-chip Saudi Basic Industries Corporation lost 1.6 percent.

Shares in Almarai, the Gulf’s largest dairy company, dropped 2.6 percent after posting 634.5 million riyals ($169.19 million) in third-quarter net profits against 667 million riyals during the same period last year.

Analysts had a median forecast of 654 million riyals, according to Refinitiv data.

Dubai was underpinned by a 2.9 percent gain by contractor Drake and Scull International. But the index as a whole edged down almost 0.1 percent.

DSI, which has faced increasing losses since 2015, said on Sunday the majority of shareholders approved the company continuing its business at a general assembly on Thursday.

The meeting was called in accordance with UAE companies' law, which states that shareholders must decide whether to dissolve a company if its losses amount to half of its issued share capital.

In Abu Dhabi the index shed 0.3 percent, pulled down the day's most active stock, Dana Gas, which lost 1.7 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index dropped 1.3 percent to 7,894 points.

DUBAI

* The index was little changed at 2,790 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index shed 0.3 percent to 4,990 points.

QATAR

* The index slipped 0.6 percent to 9,847 points.

KUWAIT

* The index went down 0.2 percent to 5,307 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was down 0.1 percent to 1,324 points.

OMAN

* The index shed 0.2 percent to 4,516 points.

EGYPT

* The index dropped 1.5 percent to 14,105 points. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Additional reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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