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Sun 22 Apr 2012 10:18 AM

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Saudi Q1 may help extend gains

KSA's index rose 1.4 percent on Saturday, extending year-to-date gains to 18.7 percent

Saudi Q1 may help extend gains
UAE stock exchange, Dubai bourse

Saudi Arabia's bourse is likely to extend gains as upbeat first-quarter earnings boost sentiment in the market, while a positive global backdrop could help support Gulf on Sunday.

In Saudi Arabia, Samba Financial Group will be in focus after it posted first-quarter net profit of SAR1.145bn (US$305.32m), nearly matching analysts forecasts.

Real estate company Dar Al Arkan said on Saturday its first quarter net profit rose 7.1 percent year-on-year due to improved gross margins in real estate sales.

The stock has been a target of retail investors, driving its price up 62.1 percent year-to-date.

Kingdom Holding, the investment vehicle of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said on Saturday its first quarter net profit rose by 11.3 percent year-on-year to SAR100.8m (US$26.88m).

"Al in all, the earnings season in Saudi has been largely better-than-expected, so retail investors are going to take the positive Q1 numbers and the global lead to drive investment decisions," says Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management. "I would expect sentiment in Saudi to remain elevated."

The kingdom's index rose 1.4 percent on Saturday, extending year-to-date gains to 18.7 percent.

Elsewhere, Dubai's benchmark is likely to break out of its tight trading range as first-quarter earnings trickle in.

Bellwether Emaar Properties is expected to post its earnings results this week. An average estimate of four analysts polled by Reuters forecast a first-quarter net profit of AED496.75m.

The stock is up 24.5 percent so far in 2012, outperforming Dubai's index which has risen 21 percent year-to-date.

Contractor Arabtec said its unit received a letter of award from Aabar Investment for a AED222m contract for residential development in Abu Dhabi.

Strong corporate earnings gave Wall Street its first positive week for April with a gain on Friday, while the euro and oil prices rose as worries about Europe ebbed.

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