Dubai falls as Arabtec slides, Egypt market rebounds




Dubai’s stock market fell on Tuesday, breaking technical support as construction firm Arabtec continued to slide, while Egypt rebounded from a drop triggered by foreign investors’ selling.
Dubai’s index sank 1.2 percent to 3,560 points, confirming a break of support on the mid-February low of 3,608 points; this triggered a double top formed by the January and February peaks and pointing down to around 3,500 points. Arabtec, which plunged its 10 percent daily limit to a five-year low on Monday, slid a further 6.7 percent. The company reported a week ago that its net loss had widened in the fourth quarter and that its board was seeking shareholder approval for a 1.5 billion dirham ($408.4 million) rights issue.
Shares in Dubai Financial Market (DFM) tumbled 5.3 percent. Many individual investors have been hurt by Arabtec’s plunge and if they withdraw from the stock market, DFM’s commissions could be hurt by the decline in trading volumes.
Abu Dhabi climbed 0.6 percent as telecommunications firm Etisalat rose 2.2 percent. The company said it would pay the federal government a royalty of 30 percent of profits for 2017-2021, the same rate as in 2016.
Qatar edged up 0.2 percent as Al Meera Consumer Goods jumped 5.3 percent after saying its 2016 net profit climbed to 199.2 million riyals ($54.7 million). It proposed a dividend of 9 riyals per share.
Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) slipped 5.1 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit fell to 207 million riyals; QNB Financial Services had predicted 241 million riyals. The company’s board recommended a lower cash dividend.
Saudi Arabia’s index edged down 0.2 percent but telecommunications firm Zain Saudi rose 1.1 percent after it said the government had issued it a unified licence allowing it to provide all telecommunications products.
The Capital Market Authority announced last October that under economic reforms to cut Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, the government would provide operators with unified licences letting them offer a full range of services.
Real estate investment trusts were very strong in unusually high trading volumes, with Riyadh REIT and Aljazira REIT surging to their 10 percent daily limits.
In Egypt, the index rebounded 1.7 percent after dropping 0.8 percent on each of the two previous days. However, bourse data showed foreign investors remained net sellers of stocks. They have been selling in recent days as appreciation of the Egyptian pound has made local stocks more expensive in dollar terms and offered currency gains.
Palm Hills Development jumped 5.9 percent after saying it had signed to co-develop an integrated community in the Alexandria governorate on a revenue-sharing basis, with the project to be launched before year-end.

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