Dubai stocks at 9-month high
Dubai, January 3, 2013
Dubai's stock index ended at a 9-month high, climbing for a second straight session, as investors expressed optimism about the emirate's growth in the new year.
The benchmark advanced 0.9 percent to 1,682 points.
"Across equity markets a good sentiment is building up," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. "After a long time of staying away from equity markets, maybe investors are ready to come back. Though we can't say that things are back to risk-free zone."
Emaar Properties gained 1.3 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank added 1.5 percent.
However, mortgage lender Tamweel fell 2.5 percent as traders expected the firm to be affected by a UAE central bank decision to cap mortgage lending to 50 percent of property value for expatriates.
Bank executives from commercial banks operating in the UAE are expected to meet on Sunday to discuss their position on the mortgage caps, Al Khaleej newspaper reported on Thursday citing an unnamed source.
The report said banks are inclining towards asking the central bank to raise the cap for first-time home buyers to 85 percent from 70 percent for nationals and to 75 percent from 50 percent for expatriates.
Henin said that it was normal for discussions between lenders and central bank officials to take place ahead of any more details about the plan.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi property developers Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate climbed over 3 percent each, helping lift the index, which ended 0.3 percent higher at 2,686 points.
Aldar and Sorouh have announced that they are at advanced stages of talks on merging operations. Investors are expecting a decision in the near future.
Meanwhile, Egyptian stocks continued to rally, helping the country's index climb for a fifth straight session. The index advanced 1.6 percent to 5,728 points. - Reuters