0900 GMT - Saudi Arabia's bourse trades near-flat as
investors hesitate to increase risk ahead of the weekend due to
uncertainty on the global front, while Egypt falls to a fresh
The kingdom's benchmark is flat at 7,172 points,
following two sessions of gains.
Banks are a drag, with the sector's index down 0.3
percent. Insurance stocks also fall.
"We're still being driven by sentiment from Europe and the
U.S. and unless we see something positive coming out of there,
it's getting difficult to see a rally in the short-term," says
Muhammad Faisal Potrik, research analyst at Riyad Capital.
"Even with earnings season almost starting, we haven't seen
a major push in the market - the drag could be from the global
European shares eased on Wednesday as investors awaited this
week's policy decisions by the Bank of Japan and European
Central Bank followed by U.S. employment data.
Sentiment was hit in Europe recently over Cyprus' financial
In Egypt, the benchmark declines 0.8 percent to
5,000 points, its lowest since Dec. 11.
Palm Hills Developments Company falls 3.1 percent,
extending declines after the company said it will take legal
action against one of its board members for conflict of interest
with the company and its shareholders.
0701 GMT - Dubai's bourse rises in choppy, thin trade,
although telecom operator Du falls in post-dividend
Shares in Du drop 7.1 percent to a five-week low. Most other
stocks gain after a recent correction on Dubai's market.
Emirates NBD and Emaar Properties
advance 2.7 and 2.1 percent respectively.
The emirate's index climbs 0.6 percent to 1,855
points, extending 2013 gains to 13.6 percent and up for a second
day since Tuesday's two-month low.
The market has fallen 4.7 percent since late February's
39-month peak, but analysts say local equities have a positive
medium-term outlook, with bargain hunters expected to enter on
"There's still value in UAE markets - Dubai had to correct
but we haven't seen any macro indicators on the downside," says
Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management. "Any rally is
sustainable on fundamentals and the fundamentals do point up."
Abu Dhabi's benchmark climbs 0.3 percent to 3,105
points. Property stocks support, with Eshraq Properties
rising 3.6 percent.
Elsewhere, Kuwait's bourse climbs 0.1 percent to
6,768 points and Oman's measure rises 0.4 percent to
In Qatar, Barwa Real Estate sheds 2.3 percent,
trading ex-divided after the firm increased its dividend payout
to 15 percent from 10 percent.
Doha's bourse slips 0.1 percent to 8,539 points.
0559 GMT - Investors are eager for a new listing on UAE
markets and with increased interest in local equities, an IPO is
seen performing well.
DAMAC Properties, a privately-held Dubai developer, is
considering listing its shares on the stock market and has
approached banks with proposals for advisory roles.
"Property prices have picked up and DAMAC has restarted
projects (halted after the property bubble burst) so from that
perspective, sentiment towards the real estate sector is good,"
says Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. "Any IPO
in the UAE market would be very positive."
Khan, however, says fund managers would prefer listings in
sectors other than property and banking, which already dominate
the local exchanges. But a successful IPO could be a door-opener
for other family-owned companies considering raising capital
from the equity market.
Shares in heavyweight National Bank of Abu Dhabi
will be in focus after it appointed Alex Thursby from Australia
and New Zealand Banking Group as its new chief
executive on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Kuwait Finance House's Turkish unit
Kuveyt Turk may consider an initial public offering in the
coming period after raising its capital by 960 million lira to
2.06 billion lira ($1.14 billion), Chief Executive Ufuk Uyan
said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Matt Smith)
- Investment & Company Information