UAE Shares Edge Upward, Following Global Trend

21/03/2009 00:00 AST

UAE shares capped the week on a positive note on Thursday, as investors were emboldened by a rally in global stocks after the US Federal Reserve announced more moves aimed at reviving the nation’s ?+moribund economy.

The benchmark index of the Dubai Financial Market extended Wednesday’s gains, ending 1.64 per cent higher at 1,532.76, and gaining 1.9 percent from the previous week.

“Dubai has some renewed momentum from retail investors buoyed by global market stability and pro-active government initiatives in the UAE,” said Matthew Wakeman, managing director of cash-and-equity linked trading at EFH Hermes.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange main index edged up 1.17 per cent to 2,939.53, it was 3.3 per cent higher from last week.

“The positive news overseas is making short-term traders more confident. Any sign that the US economy may recover earlier than expected is being taken to heart by investors,” said Sherif Abdul Khalek, institutional sales manager at Beltone Financial Securities.Equities worldwide reacted positively to the announcement of the US Fed on Wednesday — that it would buy $300 billion worth of long-dated US Treasuries, part of President Barack Obama’s $1-trillion strategy to get the nation’s economy out of the pit.

Construction, real estate and banking stocks lifted both bourses.

In Dubai, Arabtec Holding, the country’s biggest property company rose 2.48 per cent to Dh1.65. Index mover Emaar Properties, the region’s largest property developer, added 1.98 per cent to Dh2.06 while Deyaar Development edged up 2.12 per cent to Dh0.48.

Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties went up 4.04 per cent to Dh2.35, while Sorouh Real Estate inched up 1.8 per cent to Dh2.23. The Commercial Bank of Dubai gained 3.65 per cent to Dh4.25, while Emirates NBD was up 2.6 per cent to Dh3.15. Ajman Bank jumped 12 per cent to Dh1.12. “Banks remained well bid today after yesterdays talk of lower interest rates and increased liquidity in the system,” said Wakeman of EFG-Hermes.

He said strength in banking issues wasn’t focused on a few names and stocks traded as an asset class rather than name and sector specific.

“This is something we haven’t seen for quite a while,” said Wakeman of EFG-Hermes. Newly-listed engineering and construction contractor Drake & Scull Intl. ended the week on a bullish note, rising 6.06 per cent to Dh0.70 to partially recover huge losses earlier in the week.

Abu Dhabi-listed Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (Etisalat), inched up 0.4 per cent to Dh12.35. The UAE’s biggest phone company was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by HSBC Holdings Plc. HSBC said it expects Etisalat’s earnings to remain flat in the next two years.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. rose 3.54 per cent to Dh1.67. The company revised its earnings downwards last year from previously reported figures due to writedowns in its US and Canadian investments.

The company said its posted a fourth quarter net profit of Dh233 million, lower compared to its earlier report of a Dh360 million net profit. Its 2008 net profit was Dh1.8 billion compared to Dh1.952 billion reported in February.

Khaleej Times
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