Saudi stocks uptick while other indices mixed

The Saudi index rose 0.6 percent to 6,216 points, but falling trading volume indicated that after the bourse jumped earlier this month

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GCC stock markets were mixed on Wednesday as money flowed into bourses in the United Arab Emirates but many markets dropped in shrinking volumes, suggesting some investors were pulling out.

The Saudi index rose 0.6 percent to 6,216 points, but falling trading volume indicated that after the bourse jumped earlier this month in response to the rebound of oil prices to near $40 a barrel, some investors believe the uptrend is ending.

Much of the index’s gain was due to heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries, which rose 1.7 percent.

Hospital operator Middle East Healthcare, which listed on Tuesday, jumped its 10 percent daily limit for a second straight day. Many Saudi stocks are priced cheaply in their initial public offers and rise by their daily limits for several days after listing.

Elsewhere, Dubai’s index climbed 1.5 percent to 3,325 points, bouncing from near technical support on its mid-March low of 3,253 points.

GFH Financial rose 3.0 percent after saying it had signed a 100 million pound ($144 million) deal to become an anchor partner in a central London property development. It said this would reflect positively on its financial results in the first or second quarters of this year, but did not elaborate.

Shuaa Capital, the most heavily traded stock, jumped its 15 percent daily limit. It has been rebounding from a record low hit earlier this year and has seen unusually heavy volumes this week.

Abu Dhabi’s index gained 1.8 percent as Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA), the most active stock, jumped 12.2 percent before the release of its fourth-quarter earnings, expected early on Thursday. One market source said an Abu Dhabi institutional investor was buying the stock actively.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.7 percent to 6.57 dirhams after Citigroup raised its target price for the stock to 8.2 dirhams from 7.5 dirhams.
Qatar edged down 0.04 percent as Gulf Warehousing retreated 2.3 percent, after soaring last week when the Qatar Central Securities Depository said it had raised the maximum foreign ownership percentage for its shares to 49 percent of capital.

Egypt’s index fell 1.1 percent as real estate firm Talaat Mostafa dropped 3.7 percent after declaring cash dividends worth a combined 0.145 Egyptian pound per share.

But Telecom Egypt jumped 4.5 percent after a ministry of communications source told Reuters that Vodafone Egypt owed Telecom Egypt 4.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($506.8 million) in deferred profit payments payment would be made in two installments.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on March 31, 2016.