MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt may gain after Saudi King visit; Gulf may firm
Egyptian stock exchange - YOUM7 (Archive)
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Egypt’s stock market may rise on Sunday after a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman unveiled multi-billion dollar investment plans while Gulf’s stock market may firm as oil prices extended their gains.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to set up a 60 billion Saudi riyal investment fund among other investment agreements, Egyptian state television reported late on Saturday. A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the Saudi Public Investment Fund and the Egyptian International Cooperation Ministry to set up an economic free zone in Sinai.

Cairo’s main index, which fell 0.6 percent last week, its first weekly decline since the devaluation of its currency last month, may be lifted by the fresh flow of investment.

On Friday Brent crude futures settled up 6.4 percent at $41.94 a barrel, hitting a session high above $42. The stock markets in the Gulf may see more volumes as oil prices offer some optimism and investors can focus their attention on first-quarter results.

Saudi’s largest electronics and stationary retailer Jarir may fall after announcing a 29.5 percent drop in net income to 171.1 million riyals and a 25.8 percent decline in its sales.

Out of the 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, 12 analysts have rated the stock a “buy”, three a “hold” and two a “sell” with a mean target price of 168.35 riyals ($44.80).

Almarai, the Gulf’s largest dairy producer, is scheduled to release first-quarter earnings before the market open on Sunday.

Most equity analysts believe sales growth will between 5 to 7 percent, with Riyad Capital saying in a note that the fresh dairy and juice segment would continue to lead revenues, albeit at a slowing pace.

Riyad Capital has rated the stock a “hold” with a target price of 53.00 riyals ($14.13) and JP Morgan also assigned the dairy giant a “neutral” but with a target price of 75.00 riyals.

Alkhodari announced in a bourse statement that it had booked a 15 million riyal profit in a public auction held last week for some of it assets, which will be reflected in the second quarter. Shares in the contractor were up 10.6 percent last week. ($1 = 3.7498 riyals)

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