Major markets rise, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt

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Major Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday in line with strength in global bourses at the end of last week, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt leading.

The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent points to 7,145, bouncing for a second straight day from technical support around 7,000 points in very heavy trade.

After initially pulling out of the market in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption, announced early last month, retail investors have been coming back in after it became clear that damage to the economy due to the crackdown was not as serious as feared.

Real estate firm Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, continued a spectacular uptrend. It surged 9.0 percent to 14.0 riyals, having jumped from around 7.50 riyals in mid-November, when MSCI said it was adding the stock to its Saudi Arabia Index.

Petrochemical firm Saudi Kayan surged 6.2 percent to 10.64 riyals. Many analysts consider it fully valued, however; the median target price of six analysts surveyed by Reuters is 9.65 riyals.

Egypt’s index ended a four-day losing streak, climbing 0.7 percent, but trading volume remained light.

Cleopatra Hospital jumped 7.9 percent after saying its capital increase had been 99.8 percent subscribed, while Misr Cement soared 10 percent as the price of rights in its capital increase rocketed 11.7 percent.

Dubai came off early highs to end just 0.1 percent higher while Abu Dhabi climbed 0.4 percent on the back of a 4.4 percent gain by Dana Gas, after the chief executive of its major shareholder Crescent Petroleum told the Al Khaleej news service that the main documentation for Dana’s $700 million of outstanding sukuk was governed by United Arab Emirates law.

Dana is seeking to avoid redeeming the sukuk after they matured in October, arguing that they are no longer valid under UAE law. A London court found against Dana last month, but Dana is continuing to fight its case in a UAE court.

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