Middle East shares mostly gained, boosted by Q1 results. Qatar National Bank said Q1 net profit jumped 12% to 3.2 billion riyals ($879 million) from the year-ago period and topping Arqaam Capital’s forecast for 3.0 billion riyals. Loan growth was up 33% year on year to 536 billion riyals, while customer deposits rose by 34% to 541 billion riyals. Saudi British Bank said Q1 net profit fell 9.3% to 1.04 billion riyals from the year-ago period, mostly in line with expectations.
Zain Saudi earned its first-ever profit since listing in 2008. It earned 45 million Saudi riyals, up from a loss of 249.7 million in the prior-year period and topped analysts’ estimate for a loss of 104 million riyals. Sales rose 9% to 1.92 billion riyals. Saudi Basic Industries went ex-dividend.
Union National Bank earned 452 million dirhams ($123.06 million), above the average estimate from three analysts polled by Reuters forecast for profit of 443.62 million dirhams and above net profit of 450 million dirhams in the year-earlier period.