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Thu 12 Nov 2009 10:01 AM

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Dubai falls for first day in five; Emaar down

UPDATE 6: Oman's MSI ends lower for fourth session in six; Bank Muscat biggest drag.

Dubai's index DFM ended lower for the first time this week as investors booked profits from the previous day's November high.

The benchmark fell 1.8 percent to 2,177 points, tracking losses on the MSCI Emerging Markets index, which was down 0.8 percent.

Analysts said the dominance of retail investors on Gulf markets mean they tend to make exaggerated moves.

Emaar Properties

was the main drag, falling 2.8 percent after hitting a two-week closing high the previous day.

The developer claimed more than a third of all shares traded on the index.
Emaar

has been the main driver of Dubai's brief resurgence and its fall provided the signal for investors to sell other stocks too.

Arabtec

dropped 3.1 percent and
Du

slid 3.2 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI ended almost unchanged, edging up 0.02 percent to 2,698 points following minor gains in
Aldar Properties

and
Sorouh Real Estate

. This pair rose 0.3 and 0.7 percent respectively.

Kuwait's index KWSE ended lower for a fifth session, slumping to a seven-month low as bank stocks retreat.

Kuwait Finance House

dropped 1.7 percent and
National Bank of Kuwait

lost 1.8 percent.

The index fell 0.7 percent to 7,058 points, its lowest close since April 2. Volumes slipped to a 10-day low.

"Companies haven't done particularly badly in terms of third-quarter earnings, but nobody wants to put money into the market without more transparency," said a Kuwait trader who asked not to be identified.

"They want to know what's going on with
Zain

and why this deal is taking so long. It's a sentiment driven market and retail investors are looking for an escape, while the smart money is sitting on the sidelines waiting for a point to re-enter."

Zain

climbed two percent, rallying slightly from the previous day's four-month closing low. The stock has tumbled as investors await further news on its mooted takeover by an Indian consortium that was first announced in early September.

Agility

fell 3.5 percent to take its losses to 6.7 percent since it reported a 15 percent rise in third-quarter profit before trading opened on Wednesday.

"Although
Agility

managed to improve its profitability, we remain cautious on the stock,"
Shuaa Capital

wrote in a research note.

"The key reason behind our view is the uncertainty surrounding the renewal of the prime vendor contract, which is essential in extending the company's earnings visibility."

Qatar's index QSI also fell, dropping 1.2 percent to 6,903 points in its second-straight decline. Volumes slumped to a two-month low.

Banks are the main driver, with
Qatar National Bank

losing 2.7 percent and
Commercial Bank of Qatar

sliding 1.4 percent. On Wednesday, the latter raised $1.6bn in bonds, saying this money would be used to refinance debt and fund future expansion.

Oman's index MSI ended lower for the fourth session in six, with
Bank Muscat

the biggest drag.

The lender, Oman's largest by market capitalisation, ended 1.6 percent lower after warning it would write off a 'significant part' of its $61 million investment in Pakistan's Silkbank in the fourth quarter.

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel)

also declined, falling 0.5 percent to reverse the previous day's gains.

Galfar Engineering

was another in retreat, dropping 2.8 percent to take its losses to 10.6 percent since it reported a 64 percent decline in third-quarter profit, which was markedly worse than two analysts' forecasts.

The index fell 0.3 percent to 6,297 points. (Reuters)

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