(Bloomberg) --

Equity markets in the Middle East were mixed in Sunday trade, with investors focusing on first-quarter earnings as reporting season picks up.

Kuwait’s Premier Market Index rose as much as 0.8%, the most in the region, while Qatar’s gauge slipped as much as 0.4%.

Almarai Co. was little changed after the Saudi food and beverage producer reported profit for the first three months of the year that met estimates. Qatar National Bank, the Middle East’s biggest listed lender, is expected to announce its results Sunday. Qatar First Bank is also due to report this week.

Earnings will improve for roughly two-thirds of banks covered in the Middle East and North Africa, according to CI Capital, with aggregate net income up about 11% from a year earlier and 21% from the previous quarter, analysts Sara Boutros and Maryam Saleh wrote in a note. UAE banks are likely to outperform on earnings, while Saudi lenders should stand out on balance sheet growth.


  • In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.1% as of 10:14 a.m., trimming its gain this year to 15%
    • MORE: Advanced Petrochemical Resumes Operations of Two Plants
    • READ: Almarai 1Q Profit Meets Estimates
  • Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.2%, while Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index was down 0.1%
    • Business conditions in Dubai remained flat last month even as the Middle East’s business hub showed signs of recovery from the pandemic
    • MORE: UAE Names Jassem Al Zaabi as Central Bank Vice Chairman
  • Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.3%

    • Qatari stocks are expected to exhibit a “sequential recovery in earnings” on a normalized basis in the first quarter, with a 28% increase from the previous quarter, mostly due to a recovery in non-financial stocks and commodity prices, according to QNB Financial Services
    • Qatar National Cement slid 1.6% following a gain of 2.1% Thursday, when it posted a 29% increase in quarterly net income
  • MORE: Will the Wisdom of Steepening Yield Curves Profit Saudi Banks?

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