Abu Dhabi shares rally

Market wrap Sorouh Real Estate and First Gulf Bank help the index close 1.4 per cent higher.

Abu Dhabi property shares moved higher yesterday while the Dubai Financial Market fell slightly despite renewed optimism about Dubai World's potential debt restructuring. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed 1.2 per cent higher at 2,827.37. Aldar Properties led the rally, rising 3.9 per cent to Dh3.98. Sorouh Real Estate shares edged 0.4 per cent upwards to Dh2.34 a share. First Gulf Bank also climbed 4.5 per cent as the emirate's banking index improved the most in five weeks.

"The biggest loans banks issue are to real estate companies," Kifah Maharmeh, the general manager of Al Dar Shares and Bonds Brokerage in Abu Dhabi, told Bloomberg. "Any improvement among developers will have a positive impact on banks because the likelihood they can repay their loans is higher." The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.1 per cent lower to 1,659.89 as many traders took profits from gains earlier in the week. Tabreed's shares witnessed the most volume, at Dh70.77m, finishing down for the third consecutive day. Tabreed closed 5.7 per cent lower at Dh0.49.

Emaar Properties shares traded 0.8 per cent lower at Dh3.37 a share. Arabtec Construction shares ended down 1.4 per cent at Dh2.20 a share. Elsewhere in the region, the Kuwaiti index stayed flat while the Qatar index ended 0.5 per cent lower. Bahrain's measure closed down 0.21 per cent at 1,500.51, while the Muscat Securities Market Index closed 0.26 per cent lower to 6,654.71. The Saudi Tadawul closed 0.5 per cent higher at 6,565.95.