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MTC shares reverse early loss

Kuwaiti telecoms company reversed early losses today after reporting slow profit growth.

Shares of Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co. (MTC) reversed early losses on Wednesday after reporting its slowest profit growth in almost two years in the first quarter.

By 0822 GMT, the stock of the second-largest Arab telecom company by market value, was up 0.54% at 3.720 dinars ($12.87) after having fallen 1.1% earlier.

Some 9.5 million shares changed hands, well below the 30-day average of 37.7 million shares.

"The results are way, way below our forecasts," said Jithesh Gopi, an analyst at Bahrain-based SICO investment bank, which has a fair value target for MTC shares of 3.05 dinars.

"We were expecting better numbers because MTC didn't have the Nigerian operations in the first quarter last year," he said.

MTC said late on Tuesday after the market closed that profit rose 33% as the number of active customers doubled, although accidents, including a fire in Malawi, hurt earnings from African operations.

"Some of the African operations did not meet expectations," Gopi said.

"There may have been some issues with debt in African countries."