Dubai lifted by new incentives, Qatar hurt by Commercial Bank
Banking and property shares helped drive up Dubai’s stock market on Sunday, while the Qatari index fell on news that Commercial Bank’s talks to sell its stake in United Arab Bank (UAB) to a UAE investor had failed.
Dubai’s benchmark index closed up 0.4 percent after the government announced over the weekend additional measures to boost the economy.
Dubai Islamic Bank rose 1.2 percent after it said its 5.1 billion dirhams rights issue was nearly three times oversubscribed, and builder Arabtec surged 5.9 percent after gaining 4.3 percent on Thursday.
Arabtec reported its highest quarterly profit since late 2014 in mid-May and has rebounded sharply from a multi-year low.
Dubai’s Department of Economic Development is to allow companies to pay fees and fines in instalments, pause trade licenses for a year and seek settlements over commercial violations, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.
Dubai has announced a series of initiatives to reduce corporate costs and stimulate growth, but it remains unclear whether the steps can revitalise a slumping real estate market, a core sector of the emirate’s economy.
In Qatar, the index dropped 0.2 percent, dragged down by banking shares, led by a 2.7 percent fall in Commercial Bank shares after it was announced on Sunday talks to sell its stake in UAE-based UAB to Tabarak Investments had ended without a deal.
UAB shares sank 9.5 percent, underperforming the Abu Dhabi index which rose 0.6 percent as major banks First Abu Dhabi Bank (FGB) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) gained 0.8 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
Commercial Bank has been trying to sell its stake in UAB amid a regional political dispute in the Gulf that saw the UAE and some Arab allies cut ties with Qatar over a year ago.
In Saudi Arabia, the index fell 0.8 percent, as top petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries shed 1.3 percent. Shares in National Medical Care surged 9.9 percent to 61.3 riyals on the news that a unit of General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) reached a non-binding share swap deal with NMC Health that values each National Medical Care share at 70 riyals.
Egypt’s index, the best performer, rose 1.4 percent as shares in Talat Mostafa jumped 6.5 percent, and Egyptian Resorts rose 6 percent.
Egyptian stocks saw a spate of selling last week on concerns about a public reaction to upcoming energy subsidary cuts.
The index is up 7.5 percent so far this year, but has eased significantly since late April when it hit an all-time high of 18,414 points. On Sunday it closed at 16,143 points.