Property and construction stocks dragged down the UAE markets yesterday after Sorouh Real Estate announced disappointing earnings. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed down 0.7 per cent at 1,498.78, a notch below the 1,500 support level. Emaar Properties shed 0.9 per cent to Dh3.21 and Union Properties declined by 1.3 per cent to 38 fils. Arabtec Holding, which accounted for 40 per cent of the day's trade volume, retreated 0.5 per cent to Dh1.75.
Emirates NBD, the country's largest lender, dropped by as much as 4 per cent during the day before closing off 2.8 per cent at Dh2.43. The ports operator DP World added 6.3 per cent to 48 US cents after posting strong growth for the first half. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was mostly flat, closing at 2,560.75. Sorouh announced a sharp drop in second-quarter profit and its shares lost 2.7 per cent to Dh1.76. Other property firms were also sold off, with RAK Properties shares shedding 2.4 per cent to 40 fils and Aldar retreating 2.4 per cent to Dh2.49.
Despite the markets' losses, there was "heightened interest of investors in trading as valuations are attractive", said Saad Chalabi, an institutional trader at AlRamz Securities in Abu Dhabi. Elsewhere in the region, Muscat shares ended up 0.6 per cent while Kuwait's benchmark rose by 0.4 per cent and Qatar advanced by 0.3 per cent. Bahrain's index retreated 0.3 per cent and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index added 0.93 per cent.