News Column

Dubai shares gain on upbeat realty outlook

April 28, 2014

Real estate companies that have been seeing a big revival of fortunes since the second half of 2013 mostly drove the sustained rally by Dubai's key index.

Dubai's DFM General Index on Sunday climbed 0.6 per cent to 5,116.49 points, the seventh consecutive gain in eight days by the benchmark gauge.

Real estate companies that have been seeing a big revival of fortunes since the second half of 2013 mostly drove the sustained rally by Dubai's key index.

As Emaar Properties, the stock with the highest weighting on the index rose 1.9 per cent to Dh11, Arabtec Holding advanced 2.9 per cent to Dh8.99 on bets it may form an alliance with Abu Dhabi'sAldar Properties.

The latest rally on DFM came as the first initial public offering (IPO) by Marka on Dubai's main stock market in five years was 36 times oversubscribed. Investors, buoyed by a rebound in all economic sectors, subscribed Dh10 billion to the fixed offer of 275 million shares in Marka, which were priced at Dh1 each.

Underscoring the economic upswing, Dubai DFM index has risen by 52 per cent year-to-date, making it the world's strongest performing market. Analysts are upbeat that Marka's remarkable IPO success could prompt the launch of more IPOs in coming months.

In March, Nasdaq Dubai, the smaller of Dubai's two stock exchanges, saw its first IPO since the global financial crisis, a $175 million offer by Emirates Reit, getting 3.5 times oversubscribed.

Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar's bullish forecast that the developer's profit would more than triple by 2018, coupled with the company's better-than-expected first quarter earnings, is among major signals shoring up investor confidence, analysts said.

Another factor behind the rally is the long sought after MSCI upgrade of the UAE and Qatar to emerging market status. In May, MSCI will raise the UAE and Qatar to emerging market from frontier market status. In September, S&P Dow Jones will also upgrade the bourses.

However, on Sunday, Qatar's index declined 0.7 per cent, the most in two weeks. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.8 per cent last week as the Group of Seven nations agreed to act against Russia and Standard & Poor's cut the country's rating.

Shares of Arabtec, the largest listed builder in the UAE, have more than tripled this year. Aldar, Abu Dhabi's biggest developer, which announced three residential projects valued at a total of Dh5 billion on April 21, declined 1.2 per cent.

Gulf Navigation Holding surged 15 per cent as the owner and operator of crude and chemical tankers reported a first-quarter profit after a loss in the year-earlier period.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.2 percent, led by insurance stocks.

Egypt's EGX-30 Index decreased 0.6 per cent to 8,247.47 points, snapping a six-day winning streak.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark ADX General Index fell 0.4 per cent. Oman's measure lost 0.8 percent, Kuwait's benchmark retreated 0.3 per cent and Bahrain's gauge was little changed.

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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

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