Most Mideast markets rose on Thursday, showing strength in
Downbeat sentiment dominated UAE bourses on concerns a delay
on a new payment settlement system may affect the country's bid to gain coveted
MSCI emerging market status while investors in Qatar were more upbeat on its
preparation for a similar review in June.
UAE's bourses have given brokers and custodians until May 29
to switch to delivery versus payment (DvP), a global standard, after concerns
emerged from some market participants about the process.
"Delaying implementing of DvP if anything, just
increases the uncertainly whether they will make it or not," said Matthew
Wakeman, EFG-Hermes managing director for cash and equity-linked trading.
"Uncertainty is never good for the market."
Dubai's index DFM dropped to a two-week low, closing 1.9
percent lower, reversing all of Wednesday's gains.
Volatility in Dubai's Emirates NBD continued with the stock
falling 6.3 percent after Wednesday's earnings-fuelled 10.9 percent rise. It
reported a forecast-beating net profit of AED1.4bn ($381m) on Tuesday.
Dubai Investment fell 7.9 percent after going ex-dividend.
Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi developer Sorouh Real Estate tumbled
4.1 percent after reporting a 42-percent drop in first quarter profit.
Competitor Aldar Properties slipped 1.9 percent.
"We are less positive on these real estate stocks
compared to Dubai property stocks," said Hans Zayed, Rasmala's head of
research. The company has a hold recommendation on Aldar Properties and Sorouh
Abu Dhabi's index ADI ended 0.3 percent lower, falling in
three of the past seven sessions.
Qatar's index QSI rose after a recent correction and
investors bought into the country's possible inclusion in the MSCI emerging
"The probability for Qatar to be included is higher
than UAE," said Sebastian Henin, portfolio manager at TNI National
Investment. "You should see more and more hot money coming in."
Qatar's bourse said it will switch to DvP in early May.
All except two stocks on the index rose, with Industries
Qatar and Commercial Bank of Qatar gaining 0.2 and 2.4 percent respectively.
The benchmark ended 0.7 percent up at a week-high.
In Oman, Renaissance Services pushed the Muscat index MSI
0.2 percent higher as investors took a bullish view on the stock ahead of the
release of its first quarter earnings.
"Increasing oil prices and long-term contracts signed
in 2010 makes us bullish on its engineering business," said Osama Ibrahim
Al Qinna, head of brokerage at Oman Arab Bank.
Renaissance rose 1.2 percent.
* The index DFM fell 1.9 percent to 1,634 points.
The index ADI retreated 0.3 percent to 2,696 points.
The benchmark QSI rose 0.7 percent to 8,548 points.
The measure KWSE gained 0.5 percent to 6,522 points.
The index MSI climbed 0.2 percent to 6,335 points.
The index BAX slipped 0.1 percent to 1,405 points.
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