Etisalat shares lifts Abu Dhabi stock market index

Abu Dhabi stocks rise 0.9 per cent, lifted by increased foreign interest in Etisalat

Abu Dhabi stocks rose almost 1 per cent, boosted by Etisalat, the biggest telephone company in the UAE, amid what money managers said was renewed interest from foreign investors as emerging markets around the world rebound from the January crash in global equities.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index increased 0.8 per cent at the close. The Dubai index added 0.2 per cent.

Etisalat, which has a has a 27.6 per cent weighting in the index, making it the largest, rose 2.5 per cent to Dh18.35.

“It seems that there is interest back for the name because we are reaching levels not seen since mid-March,” said Sebastien Henin, the head of asset management at the The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “Etisalat is still in demand because of the decision to include it in the MSCI Emerging Market index.”

Ahead of Etisalat’s addition to that index, it was estimated that some $500 million of investment would flow into Etisalat from index funds. Its shares have jumped more than 60 per cent in the past 12 months.

But Mr Henin said that despite the bullishness on Etisalat, UAE stocks were likely to trade in a tight range until first quarter corporate earnings start being reported.

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