Speculative stocks lead Dubai up, region firm
Rallies in small and mid-cap stocks helped lift Dubai’s stock market in early trade on Wednesday while Abu Dhabi and Qatar recovered some of the previous session’s losses.
Dubai-based investment firm Shuaa Capital, which is 48.4 percent owned by a Dubai state-linked entity, jumped 6.1 percent, after surging 12.1 percent in unusually high volume on Tuesday. It has soared in heavy trade over the past 10 days, partly because of speculation that a strategic investor might be acquiring the company.
Builder Arabtec and developer Union Properties rose 1.7 and 1.4 percent respectively. Dubai’s index was up 0.7 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade.
“The rally from this year’s lows is over – for now – in the big-cap stocks, and speculators are targeting small and mid-cap companies,” said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor, adding that the trend might continue until first-quarter corporate earnings were released.
Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.3 percent as the largest listed company by market value, Etisalat, which went ex-dividend on Tuesday, rebounded 1.1 percent.
Energy-related stocks also helped lift the bourse as Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) rose 3.8 percent. The stock is now up over 10 percent since last week. when the company reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss.
In Qatar, the benchmark was up 0.7 percent. Gulf International Services, the oil rig provider, added 1.5 percent.
Qatar National Bank added 0.1 percent; it is expected to announce first-quarter earnings after the close on Wednesday. EFG Hermes expects a net profit of 2.77 billion riyals ($761 million) and SICO Bahrain 2.71 billion riyals, after 2.68 billion riyals in the year-earlier quarter.