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The UAE’s main equity indices ended nearly flat on Wednesday amid weak investor appetite and as share prices of many of the blue chips declined, weighing the indices down.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index fell 0.26 per cent to reach 3,026.32 as powerhouses Emaar and Dubai Islamic Bank, both among the most actively traded that day, fell 1.46 per cent and 0.37 per cent respectively.
“The UAE markets are facing lack of interest from the regional and global investors as most investors are now focusing on Saudi Arabia, which has many short-term catalysts,” said Sanat Sachar, equity research analyst at Al Mal Capital.
“We believe pressure on real estate stocks also continues to be there due to the soft outlook in the real estate sector.” On DFM, most stocks ended in the red, with Drake and Scull International plunging 9.4 per cent, as Marka fell 8.62 per cent, and DXB Entertainments slid 8.37 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index fell 0.39 per cent to reach 4,671.03. Tariq Qaqish, managing director of Mena Corp’s asset management division, said that there was frustration among investors and fund managers due to the performance of the UAE market, and that was keeping trade values weak.
“There were a few stories that have affected this including the change of dividend policies in some of the blue chip companies such as Damac and Emaar. Continuous capital increases in low-liquidity environment is also drying investors’ pockets,” he said.
Qaqish pointed that such issues investors have with the market were hurting even stocks with attractive valuations. “If you look internationally, some of the global stock markets are very expensive but you can see flows towards them are strong, and therefore, markets are continuing to go up.
In the UAE market, it’s the opposite; you have companies that are undervalued and they are worth investing in for the medium term, but … if investors don’t see liquidity in the market, they won’t increase their exposure to those names,” he said.
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