Saudi index flat as most Gulf stock markets fall

20 June 2013
JEDDAH - Saudi Arabia's stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index ended flat on Wednesday, losing 0.03 percent at 7,526.26 points.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, except for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, all stock indices went south.

Dubai index climbed 0.6 percent to 2,393 points, and Abu Dhabi index gained 0.2 percent to 3,665 points.

Kuwait index eased 0.01 percent to 8,075 points. Qatar index declined 0.2 percent to 9,340 points.

Oman index declined 0.4 percent to 6,469 points, and Bahrain followed suit, retreating 0.2 percent to 1,202 points.

Dubai's measure rose 0.6 percent, extending 2013 gains to 47.5 percent. Abu Dhabi's benchmark gained 0.2 percent to its highest close since October 2008.

Elsewhere, Cairo's main benchmark slipped 0.5 percent, its second decline in five sessions days since June 12's one-year low.

In Dubai's Arabtec jumped to a near four-month high on Wednesday as recent contract wins boosted sentiment ahead of the builder's earnings, while Gulf Arab markets were mixed in muted trade.

Shares in Arabtec jumped 5.1 percent to their highest close since Feb. 28. The builder has secured a flurry of contracts under its new management, led by Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments.

The latest is worth AED4 billion ($1.09 billion) to build a mixed-use development project by Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties in Kazakhstan.

Local investors have sold shares ahead of the first anniversary of President Mohamed Morsi taking office on June 30, which his opponents plan to mark by demonstrations.

Most stocks retreated - Commercial International Bank and Orascom Telecom dipped 1.1 and 1.5 percent respectively.

"There is a lack of appetite - buyers are waiting for a trigger to enter the market," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities.

Foreign investors were net buyers, which sometimes happens when political tensions rise in Egypt. Foreigners prioritise long-term equity valuations over day-to-day political concerns, Radwan said.

Shares in heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries bucked the downbeat trend, rising 1.7 percent after an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.

The company said it would discuss a takeover offer by Dutch-listed subsidiary OCI NV and a tax settlement with the government.

In Qatar, the index declined 0.2 percent, its fourth decline in five sessions since last-week's 57-month high.

Gulf International Services faced the brunt of profit-taking, falling 3.7 percent to trim 2013 gains to 44.5 percent.

© The Saudi Gazette 2013


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