Dubai market hits 23-week high
Dubai, October 7, 2012
Dubai's benchmark index extended its rally to hit a 23-week high on Sunday, with real estate stocks attracting buyers amid renewed momentum in the once-troubled sector.
Other Gulf markets were mixed ahead of third-quarter corporate earnings.
In Dubai, Emaar Properties rose nearly 2 percent, while Union Properties advanced 3.1 percent and Deyaar climbed 0.5 percent. Dubai's index rose 1 percent to 1,644 points, its highest close since April 26.
"The real estate sector in Dubai has been picking up and investors are expecting this to be reflected on the real estate sector shares," says Nabil Al Rantisi, managing director at Mena Corp.
"Markets look in good condition. The only thing at the moment that could stop this is more instability in the geopolitical situation in the region."
Developers unveiled billion-dollar projects and new high-end residential developments at Dubai's annual Cityscape property show last week, with the mood at the event at its most upbeat since 2008.
Markets in Qatar and Kuwait also rose. Qatar Telecom advanced 0.1 percent, paring back gains from early in the session after the operator said it had raised its stake in Kuwait's Wataniya to 92.1 percent in a $1.8 billion deal.
"Wataniya's shares have done well over the past six months, but more broadly have been undervalued for around four years," said Marc Hammoud, Deutsche Bank telecoms analyst.
Wataniya shares were suspended from trading pending further details on the deal.
Qatar National Bank ended 0.3 percent higher before it released third quarter results. The lender posted a 10.5 percent rise in quarterly profit after markets closed.
In Kuwait, logistics firm Agility ended flat after it said it had no news to explain a surge in its share price, which have risen 40 percent since August 1.
Daily trading volumes in Agility stock has fluctuated wildly over the same period, varying from less than 40,000 shares to 8.4 million.
"Agility sees the movement on its shares in terms of value of the stock or the volume of trades as normal and has no news or data that may justify any extraordinary movement on the stock," it said in a bourse statement on Sunday.
"However, the company believes its second-quarter financial results along with a general positive view on the Kuwait stock market could be driving the stock higher."
In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks weighed on the index , coming under selling pressure ahead of earnings announcements.
Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp ended 1.1 percent lower as did Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co . The petrochemical index declined 0.7 percent.
"Selling pressure on the petrochemical stocks are dragging the index lower, due to fears over third-quarter earnings," said a Saudi-based trader, declining to be identified.
Advanced Petrochemical fell 0.4 percent after reporting preliminary third-quarter earnings. The firm reported a 26-percent fall in net income due to lower polypropylene prices.
The index declined 0.4 percent to 6,863 points. Abu Dhabi's index ended 0.08 percent lower and Bahrain's measure also fell, ending 0.7 percent lower. Oman's benchmark ended slightly higher. - Reuters