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Wed 24 Jun 2015 11:56 AM

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Etisalat surges on news it is to open up to foreign investors

Abu Dhabi's stock market rose sharply in early trade, boosted by 13.8% hain by the telecom operator

Etisalat surges on news it is to open up to foreign investors

Abu Dhabi's stock market rose sharply in early trade on Wednesday, boosted by further gains in Etisalat after the telecom operator said it would open its equity up to foreign investors, while other Gulf markets were flat.

Etisalat jumped 13.8 percent to AED15.70, its highest level since July 2005, two days after it said local and foreign institutions and expatriate individuals would be allowed to buy up to 20 percent of the company. Currently, only UAE individual investors can buy.

The share had risen its 15 percent daily limit on Tuesday, and trading volume in the stock during the first 45 minutes on Wednesday soared to 8 million shares, already the highest daily total since early 2014.

No time frame was given for the change, and the gains of the past two days have left the stock richly valued with a forward price/earnings ratio of about 14 times, more expensive than Saudi Telecom at just under 11 and close to Qatar's Ooredoo at about 14.5.

Abu Dhabi's share index climbed 2.4 percent on the back of Etisalat.

Dubai's index was up 0.04 percent, supported by Amlak Finance, the most heavily traded stock, which rose 4.4 percent.

Qatar was 0.2 percent higher. Petrochemical producer Industries Qatar climbed 0.6 percent on the back of a rise in global oil prices. The most heavily traded stock, Ezdan Holding, fell 0.4 percent.

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