Gulf markets tumble over MSCI worries
Dubai, May 1, 2011
All of Gulf Arab markets ended lower on Sunday with consolidation a key trend, while MSCI index inclusions worries troubled investors in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets fell to a two-week low and concerns over the country's inclusion in MSCI emerging market status index weighed after UAE bourses announced a delay on Thursday in implementing the new payment settlement system.
The news Delivery Versus Payment (DvP) system is a pre-requisite for MSCI emerging market inclusion ahead of a review in June.
Analysts also expressed concerns that foreign ownership limitations in UAE and low liquidity may be greater issues than DvP.
'They (UAE) weren't serious contentions to be involved,' said Robert McKinnon, ASAS Capital chief investment officer.
'The anticipated impact on the market was exaggerated. I think it's more than just a DvP issue.'
Dubai's index retreated 0.4 percent to its lowest close since April 14. Dubai Investment, down 2.8 per cent, fell for second session after going ex-dividend.
Meanwhile Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 per cent, also a two-week low, as bluechips weighed.
Saudi's retail traders booked profits and weighed on the index with petrochemical stocks leading declines. The benchmark ended 0.4 percent lower, declining for second day since Wednesday's 14-week peak.
It rose 2.3 percent in April. The petrochemicals index slipped 0.6 percent.
Heavyweights Sabic and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co fell 0.5 and 2.1 percent respectively. Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals dipped 0.8 percent.
Elsewhere, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) weighed on the index, falling 1 percent after it said on Thursday its first-quarter net profit fell 36.5 per cent. Qatar's index lost 0.09 per cent, falling for four of past six sessions. It was up 1.1 per cent in April.
"General sentiment is positive- we might be having a little bit of calm trading beginning of May but with earnings coming in towards second quarter, there might be another upward rally," said Samer al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage.
Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company fell 1.5 percent, weighing on Oman's index. The benchmark slipped 0.02 percent, down in past four of six sessions.-Reuters