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Wed 11 Apr 2007 03:13 PM

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Gulf market report - 11 April 2007

Rises continue on the UAE markets as optimism spreads; Oman closes lower.

It is said that too many cooks spoil the broth - but the mixture of institutional players, regional investors and the odd speculator has heightened positive sentiment on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), which today continued its upward trend to close up 1.20% at 3,876.31.

"There are many types of players in the market now due to very cheap valuations. There are both western and regional investors in the market and we have seen speculators coming into the market. The whole signal of the market is positive. The risk compared to return is minimal which is what investors like to see," said Hamed El Hifnauy, regional head trader for EFG Hermes.

Mr El Hifnauy also predicted that the continued rise of Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar - currently priced at AED 11.40 - would hit the AED13 mark.

"Emaar is definitely heading towards the AED13 mark. The deal between them and Dubai Holding has created quite a buzz in the market," he said.

Today's DFM surge was led by transportation giant, Aramex (ARMX) which went up 6.50%. The share hit the AED 2.14 mark before settling at the closing price of AED 2.10.

Trading in the DFM company itself woke up from its sleepy haze after remaining unchanged for the past two days at AED 2.20. Today, it was the second-highest climber rising 5% to close at AED 2.27.

The third-biggest gainer was Union Properties (UPP) in the real estate and construction sector. The share jumped from its opening price of AED 3.11 to AED 3.22, after a mid-session high of AED 3.26.

Today 275 million shares worth over AED1 billion were traded on the DFM market. The biggest losers were Tamweel, down 5.44%; Aman, down 2.31%; and - surprisingly - Shuaa, one of the biggest gainers yesterday, which closed down 2% at AED 4.42.

The Abu Dhabi index also closed up, for the sixth successive session. The general index rose 0.84% to close at 2,997.26. The banking and financial sector, which went up 0.76% to 4,349.27, led the gains. However, the real estate sector closed down 0.55% to 573.07. The consumer and insurance sector did not fare much better, having dropped 0.58% and 0.13% respectively. In total 24 companies advanced, 2 remained unchanged and 17 declined.

Qatar's stock market index - the Gulf Arab region's worst performer this year - closes higher for a fifth trading day led by banking stocks. The index rises 0.42% to 6,147.88 points. Qatar National Bank, which reported a record first-quarter profit on Monday, climbs 1.27%. Qatar Commercial Bank gains 1.69% and Qatar Islamic Bank is up 0.89%.

Kuwait's stock index closes up 0.16% boosted by gains in Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait and Investment Dar. The index closes at 10,352.20 points. It had declined on Tuesday after rising to a more than five month closing high on Monday. Al Ahli Bank climbs 1.25%. The bank said on Tuesday it would make a profit of 13.7 million dinars ($47.4 million) from the sale of its former headquarters building in Kuwait City. Investment Dar climbs 3.92%.

Oman's stock market index closes lower, ending a four-day rally, weighed by banking stocks. The index falls 0.37% to 5,664.15 points. Bank Muscat drops 2.15% and National Bank of Oman loses 1.17%.

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