Nawras drags down Oman stock index

Markets Wrap:Investors dump stocks of Nawras, Oman's second biggest telecom operator, after profits fall almost 50 per cent.

Net income at Nawras declined to 7.2 million rials. Karim Jaafar / AFP
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Oman's benchmark underperformed regional indexes yesterday after the country's second biggest telecoms operator reported a 47 per cent decline in third-quarter profit.

Net income at Nawras declined to 7.2 million rials in the period ended on September 31, from 13.4m rials a year ago.

The company blamed a decline in text messages, lower gross margins and high operating expenses. Analysts forecast the company to report 9.7m.

"Its disappointing. The results were well below expectations," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

"Their cost base is going up but their revenue base is being hit hard. They need to normalise that equation. It's a bit worrying considering their customers were increasing in that period." The MSM 30 Index fell 1 per cent to 5,646.76 points.

Closer to home, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 2,648.24, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index added 0.1 per cent to 1,652. UAE bourses will be closed for the Eid Al Adha holiday from Thursday. Trading will resume on Monday.

"Markets are quiet," said Nabil Al Rantisi, the managing director of brokerage at Mena Corp. "Q3 results are rolling out. Holidays are coming. Many people don't want to invest more than they already have."

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure fell 0.2 per cent to 5,716.52. Bahrain's index slipped 0.2 per cent to 1,059.89. Qatar's QE Index was little changed at 5,646.76. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was up 0.5 per cent to 6,741.82.