Saudi leads Gulf stock markets higher
Dubai, August 13, 2013
Saudi Arabia led other Gulf markets higher on Tuesday as most reopened after long Eid holidays, while Dubai bounced from technical support, suggesting its bull run is not yet stalling.
After a week-long break, the main Saudi index climbed 0.5 percent to 8,115 points in active turnover.
Buying was seen across a wide range of sectors; property developer Dar Al Arkan, the most active stock, gained 1.4 percent while petrochemical firm Saudi Kayan rose 2.1 percent.
In a research report, London-based Capital Economics said there were signs that the Saudi economy was picking up; it estimated year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent for the second quarter, up from 2.1 percent in the first.
"The Saudi economy has slowed sharply over the past year, primarily due to falling output from the hydrocarbon sector. However, it looks like the economy may have turned the corner in Q2," it said.
The Saudi stock market is long-term bullish after it broke this month above the April 2012 peak of 7,944 points; that targets 8,750 points, the 61.8 percent retracement of the drop from the January 2008 high, in coming months.
Saudi Telecom surged 3.1 percent. Banking and industry sources told Reuters that the company was seeking to restructure a $1.2 billion loan and a deal could potentially leave the banks with losses of up to $600 million.
The Dubai market, which sank 1.7 percent on Monday amid profit-taking from this year's gain of over 60 percent, rebounded 1.3 percent. It tested and held support on an uptrend line dating back to early July.
In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties climbed 2.6 percent. After the close, the company said its chief executive Sami Asad would step down on Aug. 15, with the announcement of a new CEO to be made in due course; Asad had been CEO since 2010.
Asad's departure was not a surprise after Aldar's merger with rival Sorouh Real Estate earlier this year, but it could presage fresh efforts to make the company more competitive and efficient.
Egypt's index edged up 0.1 percent to a fresh six-month closing high.
A stand-off between authorities and demonstrating supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi continues, threatening more bloodshed. But many investors would accept more violence if they felt it was helping the army-backed government restore order.
The Nour Party said on Monday that it could join the assembly writing a new constitution for Egypt; if this happens, it would be a major boost to the army's plan for a transition back to democracy, since Nour is Egypt's second largest Islamist party after Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood.
SAUDI ARABIA: The index gained 0.5 percent to 8,115 points.
EGYPT: The index rose 0.1 percent to 5,645 points.
DUBAI: The index rose 1.3 percent to 2,656 points.
ABU DHABI: The index edged up 0.02 percent to 3,878 points.
KUWAIT: The index rose 0.1 percent to 8,068 points.
QATAR: The index gained 0.7 percent to 9,914 points.
OMAN: The index added 0.2 percent to 6,775 points.
BAHRAIN: The index fell 0.1 percent to 1,198 points. - Reuters
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