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Strong earnings lift DFM to a new high

Issac John
Filed on February 17, 2014
Strong earnings lift DFM to a new high

Deyaar, DFM lead the rally as UAE bourses merger hopes spur sentiment.

Strong earnings lift DFM to a new high (/assets/oldimages/biss_170214.jpg)The DFM rallied by as much as 3.2 per cent on Sunday. — KT file photo

Strong corporate earnings, brightening prospects of a merger between the UAE’s two bourses and a fast-recovering property sector continued to buoy sentiment to propel Dubai shares to a new high on Sunday.

Driven by property developer Deyaar Development, Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index rallied as much as 3.2 per cent in early trading to 4,227.62 points, its highest in five years, before shedding gains to 2.2 per cent to 4,188.98 points at the close.

Deyaar’s shares rose 9.8 per cent in early trading, the most in a month, and closed the day’s trading with a slight retreat to 8.1 per cent. The sharp rally by Dh1.37 was in the wake of a move by Deyaar’s board to allow foreigner investors to own 25 per cent its share capital.

At present, foreigners from outside the GCC are not allowed to own Deyaar stocks. Nationals from GCC countries, who are allowed to own up to 49 per cent, hold only 3.7 per cent of Deyaar’s shares at present.

Dubai Islamic Bank, which owns an over 40 per cent stake in Deyaar, gained 4.83 per cent to close at Dh6.30. Union Properties rose 4.97 per cent on the back of a remarkable earnings growth.

Another major driver on Sunday was the DFM’s stock, which rose 7.4 per cent to Dh3.30, its highest since September 2008 on hopes of an impending merger of the two bourses. Dubai’s DFM and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, or ADX, have been discussing a merger since 2010 and hired banks to advise on the merger, expected to be a landmark development in the UAE’s financial industry in recent years. Valuation and structuring work have completed as the merger deal awaits approval from the two governments.

Last week, Dubai’s benchmark index closed at 4,098.67 points, taking its weekly gain to 4.18 per cent. On Sunday, DFM transaction value almost touched Dh3 billion.

Abu Dhabi’s bourse was little-changed, trading in a tight range since Monday’s 66-month high.

In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share Index added 0.5 per cent at in early-afternoon Riyadh trading, up for a third consecutive session and reaching its highest level since August 2008.

Heavyweight sectors of banking and petrochemicals were the main support. Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.7 per cent after the Capital Market Authority approved the lender’s plan to increase its capital by eight per cent through a bonus share issue. Riyad Bank rose 0.5 per cent, up almost 10 per cent since January 30. Samba Financial Group, which last month proposed one bonus share for every three held, has gained 5.9 per cent since. It added 1.9 per cent on Sunday.

Bourses in Qatar, Bahrain and Oman rose respectively by 0.3 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent, while Kuwait market retreated 0.1 per cent.

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