Property stocks boost UAE markets, Saudi remains key focus

Real estate stocks boost Dubai's index on the first trading day of 2011, reflecting cautious optimism among investors
Property stocks boost UAE markets, Saudi remains key focus
Emaar Dubai
By Reuters
Sun 02 Jan 2011 11:35 AM

Real
estate stocks boost Dubai's index on the first trading day of 2011 after
getting hit in the previous year, reflecting cautious optimism on the part of
investors.

Bellwether
Emaar Properties rises 0.3 percent and construction heavyweight Arabtec climbs
1 percent.

"Most
of the stocks trading (higher) today are real estate because they got hit
during the last period, during the fourth quarter," says Musa Haddad, head
trader in National Bank of Abu Dhabi's asset management group."These
stocks are now pushing the market to the upside."

UAE
markets may benefit from the optimism around the real estate market, after
developer Nakheel said it had secured funds to repay an Islamic bond due later
in January, boosting property stocks.

Concerns
over debt woes at Dubai Holding may also lessen after the conglomerate's main
unit agreed a deal with banks to refinance a $555 million loan on Thursday.

The
index gains 1 percent to 1,646 points.

Abu
Dhabi's benchmark also gains, rising 0.4 percent to 2,730 points, as Aldar
Properties adds 0.9 percent.

In
Oman, the measure rises 0.5 percent to 6,788 points.

Saudi
Arabia's market is likely to remain in Middle East investor's focus after
banking and petrochemical stocks lifted the benchmark on Saturday and oil
prices ended 15 percent higher in 2010.

Heavyweight
Al-Rajhi Bank climbed 1.2 percent and shares in Banque Saudi Fransi added 0.2
percent, helping lift the benchmark to an eight-month high.

Optimism
in Egypt over plans for an off-budget stimulus package and potential new
construction projects could kick off the year's trading on a positive note, but
security concerns after a suicide bombing at a church on Saturday and some
profit taking after recent gains may dampen Sunday's session.

"Volumes
of course will rise again next week after the holiday lull, slowly at first as
investors return to the market, but then stronger as the week goes on,"
says Angus Blair, head of research at Beltone Financial.

In
subsequent weeks, all eyes with be on full-year financial results, which will
begin being released in late February, he said.

Egypt's
Awa Food Industries may come under selling pressure after its chairman was
convicted of financial crimes in absentia on Thursday. Mohamed Bin Issa Jaber
Al Jaber said he would appeal.

Trading
on other regional bourses is likely to get off to a slow start to the week,
with Kuwait's bourse and Bahrain's index officially closed on Sunday.

 

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