Gulf focus on earnings; Egypt FX woes may weigh

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Investors will focus on earnings in some Gulf Arab markets on Sunday, while currency woes in Egypt may weigh on sentiment on the Cairo bourse.

In the United Arab Emirates, Air Arabia reported a 6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit but missed analysts' estimates.

The stock has risen 9.6 percent this year, underperforming the Dubai benchmark, which is up 16.7 percent. Air Arabia's board recommended a 7 fils cash dividend, higher than 2012's 6 fils dividend, which may help support the stock.

Abu Dhabi's Etisalat is talking to banks about a syndicated loan of up to US$8bn to finance a bid for Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, banking sources said on Friday.

In Kuwait, telecom operator Zain, the country's second largest listed stock, said foreign exchange losses were to blame for a 32 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit.

The stock is likely to come under selling pressure as its profit of KWD50.47m (US$179.04m) fell well short of an average estimate of KWD63.7m.

Elsewhere, Egypt's pound weakened to a record low against the dollar in interbank trade after a foreign currency sale on Thursday, but trading volumes were low as authorities reduced the flow of dollars into the market.

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