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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

North Korea may weigh on regional stocks

Poor earnings by Saudi Arabian producers of building materials also a drag

Middle East stock markets may be weak on Thursday with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.7 per cent, partly because of North Korean tensions.

Continuing a string of poor earnings by Saudi Arabian producers of building materials, Arabian Cement reported that second-quarter net profit plunged to 35.5 million Saudi riyals (Dh34.7m) from 141m riyals a year ago, missing the 71.7mn riyals average forecast of analysts.

Kuwaiti telecommunications firm Zain may attract interest after signing a deal to sell 425.7 million treasury shares to Omantel for US$846 million. The purchase, subject to regulatory approval, was announced days before Oman is to shortlist qualified applicants for a third mobile licence, for which Zain has bid.