ADCB leads way as traders take a fancy to the banks

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gained the most in 18 months as traders booked positions ahead of first quarter results announcements

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rises 3.2 per cent to Dh2.6 on the Abu Dhabi market.
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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) climbed to its highest point since September 2009 as traders booked positions in bellwether banking stocks.

ADCB rose 3.2 per cent to Dh2.60 on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index, the most in 18 months, followed by other heavyweight banking and property stocks.

National Bank of Abu Dhabiadvanced 1.6 per cent to Dh9.90.On the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index, Deyaar Developmentrose 0.4 per cent to Dh2.41 and Emirates NBD was up 0.3 per cent to Dh3.30.

"We're waiting for results from banks in particular," said Fadi al Said, a senior fund manager at ING Investment Management in Dubai. Provisions are expected to have reached their peak for banks, leading to a better round of first-quarter results this year.

The DFM General Index finished 0.4 per cent lower at 1,548.67, and the ADX General Index slipped 0.3 per cent to 2,601.35.

But uncertainty over when the unrest in the Mena region will end and what the economic implications could be will most likely result in a volatile market in the short to medium term, the investment bank Rasmala said in a note to investors.

Elsewhere, Kuwaiti stocks closed 0.5 per cent higher at 6,301.10, Doha's market ended flat at 8,460.63, Muscat advanced 0.7 per cent to 6,269.36, and Bahraini shares closed down 0.2 per cent at 1,414.77.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index was 0.2 per cent lower at 6,605.92. Egypt's market reversed yesterday's gains to close 1.1 per cent lower at 5,498.11.