Saudi slips on weak oil; Egypt drops on corporate news
A Whiting Petroleum Co. pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains AP/Matthew Brown (archived)

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s stock market slipped early on Monday because of weak oil prices, while Egypt’s bourse also fell on negative corporate news.

Brent crude oil dropped 2.1 percent in Asian trade to below $44 a barrel. The Saudi stock index, which had surged 2.1 percent on Sunday, fell back 0.4 percent in the first 90 minutes of trade.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan dropped 0.8 percent. Banks fell with Al Rajhi losing 1.5 percent.

But top petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries added 1.1 percent. Emaar Economic City, the most heavily traded stock, surged 4.2 percent after it said authorities, who have been investigating how the firm acquired land in the industrial zone which it is developing, would let it keep the land to protect the interests of investors.

Egypt’s stock index opened higher but then dropped 0.9 percent. Orascom Telecom Media, the most heavily traded stock, sank 6.1 percent after saying on Sunday that it was removing its North Korean subsidiary Koryolink from its consolidated financial statements because sanctions against Pyongyang had affected its ability to operate there.

Qalaa Holdings fell 2.3 percent after saying its subsidiary Mashreq Petroleum was is in negotiations with the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone to terminate a contract to build, operate and transfer a liquid bulk station at East Port Said.

Orascom Construction dropped 1.9 percent after reporting third-quarter earnings and saying it would distribute a total cash dividend of $0.36 per share in 2016, implying a yield of 5.1 percent based on its NASDAQ Dubai closing price of $7.0 per share on Nov. 22. The Dubai-listed shares rose 0.7 percent, however.

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