MIDEAST STOCKS-Poor Q2 earnings dent Saudi Arabia in weak region

* SABIC drops on Q2 profit miss, steel segment main culprit

* Alawwal Bank hit by weak Q2 results

* Zain Saudi misses Q2 estimates by wide margin

* Commodity-linked sector main drag on Qatar

DUBAI, July 30 (Reuters) - Disappointing second-quarter results from large cap Saudi Arabian companies were the main drag on the local index on Sunday, while neighboring bourses were mostly weak.

The Riyadh index fell 0.8 percent as the largest petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) lost 1.3 percent after it reported a second-quarter net profit of 3.71 billion riyals ($989.3 million), below analysts' estimates of 4.6 billion riyals and down by a quarter from the year ago period.

The profit fall stemmed from weaker performance at its iron and steel unit, said Chief Executive Yousef al-Benyan at a press conference in Riyadh.

The drop in demand for steel was seasonal, driven by the Muslim holidays of Ramadan and Eid, Benyan said, adding the company would try to reduce expenses and increase production.

Shares in Alawwal Bank shed 4 percent after the country's oldest bank reported a 40 percent drop in second quarter net profit to 322 million riyals. NCB Capital and EFG Hermes had forecast a bottom line of 369 million riyals and 368.6 million riyals respectively.

The bank said its operating expenses jumped 48.4 percent because of higher impairment charges for credit losses, depreciation and amortization, and higher rent expenses.

Most other banks have reported earnings with mixed results.

The third largest telecommunications company Zain Saudi sank 5.8 percent to 8.83 riyals in very heavy trade after the company reported a net profit of 8 million riyals, significantly below analysts' estimate of 34.2 million riyals.

Analysts at Alrajhi Capital said that to justify Zain's valuation at current levels - excluding Sunday's drop - the company would need to maintain a high growth trajectory with improving margins "over and above first quarter levels." Alrajhi's fair value for Zain is 9.5 riyals and it has a "neutral" rating on the stock.

Shares in Saudi Cement dropped 0.6 percent to 50 riyals after reporting a second-quarter net income of 94 million riyals, declining by almost two-thirds from last year's result and well below analysts' estimate of 131 million riyals.

Shares of the largest medical insurer BUPA Arabia rose 0.3 percent after its net profit rose by 9 percent in the second quarter from the prior year period.

In Egypt, shares of Juhayna Food Industries dropped 4.6 percent after reporting a second quarter net profit of 1.58 billion Egyptian pounds, short of analysts' estimates but up 18.1 percent year-on-year.

Analysts at Naeem Brokerage said the bottom line was hit by lower than expected sales, rising operating and financial overheads, because of due to rising debt levels and higher interest expense.

The index fell 1.0 percent.

The Doha index dropped 1 percent in very thin volume; oil-linked industries were some of the worst performers with oil drilling service provider Gulf International Services and petrochemicals maker Industries Qatar each shedding 2.4 percent.

In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.2 percent as Dana Gas, the most traded stock, swung 1.6 percent higher.

Dubai's index closed near flat as 17 shares rose and 10 declined. Small cap stocks, often traded by short term speculative traders, were the top performers, with Kuwaiti based investment company Al Salam Group jumping 4.8 percent.



* The index lost 0.8 percent to 7,116 points.


* The index edged up 0.08 percent to 3,609 points.


* The index added 0.2 percent to 4,577 points.


* The index fell 1.0 percent to 9,470 points.


* The index lost 1.0 percent to 13,480 points.


* The index declined 0.2 percent to 6,795 points.


* The index lost 0.2 percent to 1,332 points.


* The index added 0.3 percent 5,064 points. ($1 = 17.8700 Egyptian pounds) ($1 = 3.7501 riyals) (Editing by Keith Weir)