Shares in Dubai rose the most among their regional peers, helped by a sharp increase in banking and financial services stocks. The Dubai Financial Market General Index more than recovered its losses from Monday, closing 0.7 per cent higher yesterday at 1,776.32. Emirates NBD, the country's largest lender by assets, rose as much as 5 per cent during early trading. However, late selling pressure eroded gains and it closed up 3.5 per cent at Dh2.95.
As with most movement of late, the reasons for the gains are tied to speculation of an agreement on the Dubai World debt restructuring. "Emirates NBD is heavily exposed to Dubai World and any positive development moves its shares. Investors are anticipating a good deal for lenders now," said Chahir Hosni, the equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. Still, he is among analysts who think a resolution is necessary to improve liquidity and allow shares to continue their ascent.
"There is a little more steam left in this rally, but it won't last for long without a change in fundamentals," he said. Shuaa Capital's shares rose 2.4 per cent, followed by Commercial Bank of Dubai and Dubai Islamic Bank, both gaining 1.6 per cent. Drake and Scull International advanced 2.1 per cent. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 2,859.87. Gulf Cement rose 3.5 per cent while Sharjah Islamic Bank added 1 per cent.
Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain was the only bourse to post a decline, down 0.3 per cent. Saudi shares advanced 0.7 per cent, while both Kuwait and Muscat shares gained 0.4 per cent. In Qatar, the benchmark added 0.3 per cent. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org