Money flows to UAE equities

Given the UAE's diversified economy, its markets are widely seen as relatively well-placed to ride out a looming economic slowdown in the Gulf this year prompted by low oil prices.



By Reuters

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 2:00 AM

Middle East stock markets were mixed on Wednesday as money flowed into bourses in the UAE but many markets dropped in shrinking volumes, suggesting some investors were pulling out.
Given the UAE's diversified economy, its markets are widely seen as relatively well-placed to ride out a looming economic slowdown in the Gulf this year prompted by low oil prices.
Dubai's index climbed 1.5 per cent to 3,325 points, bouncing from near technical support on its mid-March low of 3,253 points.
GFH Financial rose three per cent after saying it had signed a £100 million ($144 million) deal to become an anchor partner in a central London property development. It said this would reflect positively on its financial results in the first or second
quarters of this year, but did not elaborate.
Shuaa Capital, the most heavily traded stock, jumped its 15 per cent daily limit. It has been rebounding from a record low hit earlier this year and has seen unusually heavy volumes this week.
Abu Dhabi's index gained 1.8 per cent as Abu Dhabi National Energy (Taqa), the most active stock, jumped 12.2 per cent before the release of its fourth-quarter earnings, expected early on Thursday. One market source said an Abu Dhabi institutional investor was buying the stock actively.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.7 per cent to Dh6.57 after Citigroup raised its target price for the stock to Dh8.2 from Dh7.5.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, however, the mood was less positive. The Saudi index rose 0.6 per cent but falling trading volume indicated that after the bourse jumped earlier this month in response to the rebound of oil prices to near $40 a barrel, some investors believe the uptrend is ending.
Much of the index's gain was due to heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries, which rose 1.7 per cent.
Hospital operator Middle East Healthcare, which listed on Tuesday, jumped its 10 per cent daily limit for a second straight day. Many Saudi stocks are priced cheaply in their initial public offers and rise by their daily limits for several days after listing.
Qatar edged down 0.04 per cent as Gulf Warehousing retreated 2.3 per cent, after soaring last week when the Qatar Central Securities Depository said it had raised the maximum foreign ownership per centage for its shares to 49 per cent of capital.
Egypt's index fell 1.1 per cent as real estate firm Talaat Mostafa dropped 3.7 per cent after declaring cash dividends worth a combined 0.145 Egyptian pound per share.
But Telecom Egypt jumped 4.5 per cent after a ministry of communications source told Reuters that Vodafone Egypt owed Telecom Egypt 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($506.8 million) in deferred profit payments; payment would be made in two instalments, with the first in April.


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