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UAE markets hit fresh multi-year highs

Dubai, May 14, 2013

Markets in the UAE hit new multi-year highs on Tuesday, delaying an expected bout of profit-taking as upbeat earnings added fuel to the bullish sentiment, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt fell.

In Dubai, banks rallied. Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) rose 5.8 per cent, extending year-to-date gains to 54.7 per cent. The bank completed a share swap acquisition of mortgage lender Tamweel in which it provided 10 new shares in the bank for every 18 held in Tamweel, it said earlier this week.

"Expectations are strong for 2013 after DIB's merger with Tamweel - it will reduce their lending costs and give it the ability to be competitive in the mortgage lending segment," said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments.

"It is also cheap in terms of valuations compared to Abu Dhabi banks, which have seen a strong rally this year."

Air Arabia gained 0.9 per cent. The budget carrier posted a 20 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit for the first quarter, boosted by a 22 per cent advance in revenue.

The results were positive and showed the firm's growth potential in the medium term, said Reda Gomaa, portfolio manager at Mashreq in Dubai, adding there was still value in the stock despite its early-year rally.

Air Arabia is up 31.7 per cent year-to-date.

Dubai's benchmark climbed 2.7 per cent to 2,255 points - its biggest one-day jump since the opening session of 2013 and its highest level since October 2009.

The index is moving closer to the peak of that year at 2,408 points - a major resistance.

Abu Dhabi's measure climbed 1.8 per cent to a fresh 54-month high. The number of shares changing hands on Tuesday - 424.7 million - was the second-highest for a session in 2013, aided by a 134 million single trade in Eshraq Properties .

Financials lead gainers, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Union National Bank rising 5.5 and 4 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, Oman's bourse rose 0.5 per cent, aided by gains at investment firms. Oman National Investment Corporation climbed 5.4 per cent and Oman Investment and Finance Co advanced 4.1 per cent.

Qatar's measure gained 0.4 per cent, and Kuwait's index advanced 0.2 per cent to a fresh 42-month peak.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark slipped 0.3 per cent. Insurance stocks tumbled for a second session since the market regulator announced plans to cut down on speculative trading through stricter rules.

The insurance sector index dropped 6.7 per cent.

Petrochemicals shares helped limit losses, with the heavyweight sector's benchmark adding 0.8 per cent.

Egypt's measure retreated 0.3 per cent. Large-cap Orascom Construction Industries fell 1.3 per cent to 242.8 Egyptian pounds after Dutch-listed parent OCI NV cut the tender offer price for a share swap.

OCI NV said on Tuesday it would offer holders of OCI's Egypt-listed shares the option of swapping them for OCI NV shares or a cash alternative of 255 pounds per share. That is down from the 280 pounds per share offered in January.

Investment firm EFG-Hermes gained 3.6 per cent and most other shares were also up. Non-Arab foreigners were net sellers, bourse data showed.-Reuters




Tags: stocks | High | UAE markets |

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