Union Properties stock jumps after strong Q1 profits

UPDATE 3: Shares gain 5% in early trade, helping to lift Dubai's index 0.1%.
Union Properties stock jumps after strong Q1 profits
MARKET FORCES: Dubais index rose slightly in early trade. (Getty Images)
By Reuters
Mon 03 May 2010 10:23 AM

Dubai's Union Properties gained after reporting a 66-percent rise in first-quarter profit on Sunday, helping lift Dubai's index.

The developer's stock jumped 5 percent in early trade, while the index climbed 0.1 percent to 1,727 points.

On Sunday, Union Properties reported a net profit of AED50 million and also got shareholders' approval to extend a bridge-loan facility provided by Emirates NBD.

The company's shareholders also approved the extension of maturity of a AED2.1 billion and a $188.4 million syndicated loan facility to December 31, 2013.

"In addition to this better-than-expected performance at the earnings level, an area of debt overhang has also eased at this stage," EFG-hermes said in a research note.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped 8.6 percent to drive Abu Dhabi's benchmark higher.

The index rose 0.6 percent to 2,790 points.

Kuwait's index ended lower for a first session in five as institutional investors stay away in the absence of any new catalysts.

"There is no support from institutions. The market looks like it is on a trading halt," said a Kuwait trader who asked not to be identified.

Agility, the logistics firm which is facing indictment charges from US authorities, ended 3.1 percent lower.

"Any news that Agility has settled on a decent amount will help drive markets higher but its very tough to take a bet on that," said the trader.

Telecom operator Zain, which has struck a deal to sell most of its African assets to India's Bharti, ended 1.5 percent higher.

Kuwait Finance House (KFH), which reported a 21 percent fall in first-quarter results on Sunday, ended flat.

The index fell 0.6 percent to 7,266 points.

Saudi Arabia's index fell for a second day as traders continued to book gains, despite oil prices holding near $86 a barrel.

Firm crude prices have supported stocks in the world's top oil exporter, enabling the index to rise more than 12 percent year-to-date.

Oil was down 0.2 percent at $86.00 at 0821 GMT in thin Monday trade, having earlier been within 30 cents of setting a new 2010 high, as concerns about the Euro zone's fiscal woes returned to the fore, while fresh steps by China to cool its economy added to near-term uncertainty.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) dropped 1 percent and Saudi Chemical Co fell 1.1 percent.

The index fell 0.07 percent to 6,903 points.

"Traders should be focused on protecting their gains and keeping their buying activities to a minimum," said Shuaa Capital in a research note.

Qatar's index gained as local and foreign institutions bought bank stocks, although volumes remained low.

Al Khaliji Bank gained 1.7 percent and Qatar Islamic Insurance rose 2.5 percent.

Masraf Al Rayan was the most active stock, accounting for nearly a quarter of all shares changing hands on the index, but it was flat.

The index added 0.4 percent to rise to 7,541 points.

"I think we are on the way to 7,800 but it would take a couple of weeks to reach that level -- institutions appear to be supporting the index," said Hani Girgis assistant chief dealer at Dlala Brokerage.

Barwa Real Estate rose 1.5 percent, while Qatar Gas Transport rose 0.4 percent. (Reuters)

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