UAE shares set the pace

Abu Dhabi stocks rise for the fifth consecutive session helped by the banking and property sectors.

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DUBAI // UAE shares led the gainers in the Gulf markets yesterday, with Abu Dhabi stocks rising for the fifth consecutive session helped by the banking and property sectors. The Dubai Financial Market General Index advanced for the second day, ending 1.5 per cent higher at 1,648.46. Emirates NBD, the country's largest bank by assets, led the way as it climbed 4.6 per cent, while the bellwether Emaar Properties gained 2.8 per cent. Shuaa Capital added 3.9 per cent and the Dubai Financial Market Company rose 3.1 per cent.

"The good thing about shares like Emaar, DFM Co and, for example, Arabtec is that they are rising slowly but surely. There is a pattern emerging in the market now," said Mohammed Najaf, a broker at Tabadul Shares and Bonds, the brokerage firm in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) was among the major gainers in Abu Dhabi, rising 7.6 per cent on healthy volumes. ADCB last week reported a Dh1.2 billion fourth-quarter loss.

"There is no news to justify the rise. I think investors have priced in losses already," Mr Najaf said. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 1 per cent to 2690.87. Sorouh and Aldar advanced 2.5 and 1.5 per cent respectively. "Bulls are in control for the short term but the long-term market picture is still bleak," said Chahir Hosni, the equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes. Elsewhere, the Saudi Tadawul All Share Index firmed 0.22 per cent and the Qatar index advanced 0.5 per cent. Kuwait closed marginally higher. Muscat's main measure declined by 0.5 per cent, while Bahrain's eased.