Dubai remains top GCC equity performer this year

GCC index sees biggest gain in 16 months, led by a global rally

by

Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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A woman underneath a digital board displaying stock data at the Dubai Financial Market. — AFP file
A woman underneath a digital board displaying stock data at the Dubai Financial Market. — AFP file

Published: Mon 4 Dec 2023, 7:47 PM

Dubai’s equities market remains the biggest gainer among Gulf bourses this year, a report showed.

According to Kamco Invest’s GCC Markets Monthly Report for November, Dubai’s stock market has gained 19.7 per cent this year, with Saudi Arabia second at 6.7 per cent being the only other index with gains through 2023. Dubai’s gains come on the back on the government’s diversification programme, along with its rising appeal as a safe investment among geopolitical uncertainties.

Overall, GCC equities witnessed the first gain in four months in November mainly led by optimism in the global markets following expectations that interest rates have peaked and central banks may start cutting rates next year, most likely during the second half, the report showed.

The MSCI GCC index gained 5.2 per cent during November. Dubai was the third-biggest gainer among the Gulf indices, gaining three per cent during the month, the report showed. Qatar was the best performing market in the GCC with a return of 5.4 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia and Dubai with gains of 4.6 per cent.

On the sectoral front, almost all regional indices showed gains during November, barring the GCC Insurance index that dropped marginally by 0.4 per cent. on the gainers side, pharma & biotech was leading with a gain of 21.4 per cent followed by consumer durable & apparel and healthcare indices with gains of 14.0 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively. Large-cap sectors like banking showed impressive gains of 6.6 per cent while energy and materials indices showed relatively smaller gains of 1.8 per cent and 4.3 per cent, respectively.

The DFM General Index’s performance was evenly distributed during the month with four out of the eight sector indices recording monthly gains during the month with the remaining four sector indices registering declines. However, gains of the real estate sector (+10.0 per cent) and the financial sector (+2.5 per cent), the two largest weighted sectors of the indices, skewed the general index into positive territory. The double-digit gain in the real estate sector was mainly due to the double-digit share price increase of Deyaar Development (+14.0 per cent) and Emaar Development (+10.2 per cent). On the other hand, in terms of decliners, the communication services index recorded 3.9 per cent decline to close the month at 872.7 points while the consumer staples index registered 2.5 per cent drop to close the month at 109.7 points.

According to monthly stock performance from Bloomberg, National General Insurance topped the monthly gainers table with 44.9 per cent increase in share price followed by Deyaar Development and Dubai Financial Market with gains of 13.9 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively. On the decliners’ side, Takaful Emarat Insurance topped the table recording a share price decline of 15.9 per cent during the month followed by Aramex and Arabian Scandinavian Insurance Company with share price declines of 14.3 per cent and 9.7 per cent, respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, after two consecutive months of declines, the FTSE ADX index surged 2.3 per cent during last month, closing the month at 9,559.27 points. The gains further added to the positive YTD performance of the index that reached (-6.4 per cent) by the end of the month. In terms of sectoral performance, eight out of the ten sectors on the exchange recorded gains during the month. The Health are index posted the biggest increase among the indices in November with 12.7 per cent growth to close the month at 4,115.5 points as compared to last month when it reported the biggest decline among the indices. The monthly growth of the Health Care index was mainly attributed to the 15.1 per cent share price jump of Burjeel Holdings during November-2023. The consumer staples index followed with a 10.1 per cent monthly increase to close the month at 10,202.0 points mainly due to Agthia Group’s 16.9 per cent share price increase in November. On the other hand, the consumer discretionary index recorded a 6.6 per cent decline to close the month at 7,750.0 points mainly driven by the 10.6 per cent slide in shares of Abu Dhabi National Hotels.

Trading activity in ADX improved during November after recording a mixed performance during October. Total volume of shares traded increased by 7.3 per cent in November-2023 to reach 3.6 billion shares as compared to 3.4 billion shares during the previous month. On the other hand, total value of shares traded recorded a marginal increase of 0.9 per cent to reach Dh19.9 billion up from Dh19.8 billion in October. Multiply Group topped the list of the most active stocks table during the month with 512.4 million traded shares followed by Adnoc Gas and RAK Properties which traded 234.4 million shares and 222.5 million shares, respectively. In terms of value traded, IHC topped the table for the tenth month in a row with Dh4.8 billion worth of shares changing hands during the month followed by Alpha Dhabi Holding and Multiply Group at Dh2.3 billion and Dh1.8 billion respectively.


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