Banking stocks lead rally on Abu Dhabi market


19/03/2009 00:00 AST

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) responded positively to the Central Banks rate cut plan in yesterdays trading, rallying to close at 2367.91 points, registering a gain of 55.97 points, or 2.42 per cent.

Some of the major stocks that led the rally were Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Bank of Sharjah, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).

"The Central Banks plan to cut interest rates boosted the confidence level of investors and as a result of this, banking shares were in the limelight with buying interest seen at almost every counter. I believe most of the bad news for the local markets is over and there would be a gradual recovery in the medium-term," said Sherif Abdul Khalek, institutional trading manager at Beltone Financial Services.

Mathew Wakeman, Managing Director, cash and equity linked trading, EFG Hermes, said: "There was better than expected housing data from the US, coupled with a strength in tech stocks following increased chip orders. Both of these stoked a fire already burning from last weeks positive bank guidance."

Yesterday, of the 33 stocks traded on the ADX, 26 advanced and seven declined. Registering a significant rise in trading volume, turnover in the exchange was Dh191 million, against Dh58.89m in the previous session. "A large number of investors put their money in the ADX. Therefore, I foresee the ADX being likely to move higher when compared to the DFM. This is for the medium-term only," said Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, research head at Emaar Saudi Financial Services.

Wakeman added: "Abu Dhabi saw renewed interest today after a few weeks in the retail wilderness. Banks and real estate had a good bounce on volume – nearly three times the average for the last few weeks. Today was the last day to buy NBAD shares before it goes ex dividend, which has been set at 10 per cent stock and 30 fils cash. Banks reacted positively to comments that liquidity is improving in the system following local and federal government initiatives."

UNB and Waha witnessed continuous buying and closed higher by 8.33 per cent. Aldar and Sorouh also witnessed buying on lower support levels, registering a gain of 3.24 per cent and 3.32 per cent respectively. Both witnessed good volumes.

"The Abu Dhabi market also took the supports near the 2,275-level on daily charts and registered a good rise to give a bullish close at 2,367.91 up by 2.42 per cent," said Shiv Prakash, technical analyst at MAC Capital.

Regional markets up
All the major stock exchanges in the GCC and the wider region, except the Bahraini bourse, recorded gains yesterday.

The Saudi Arabian bourse closed higher by 0.83 per cent, Doha by 0.77 per cent, Muscat 0.42 per cent, Kuwait 0.93 per cent, and the Egyptian bourse gained 2.62 per cent yesterday on fresh buying interest over positive global cues.

Considering the present market conditions, Vodafone Qatars IPO, which is slated to hit the market on April 12, is likely to be the major mover in the GCC market. The IPO will raise QR3.38 billion (Dh3.4bn) and is the first such offering on the Doha stock market.

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