Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012
Saudi SE 6885.27 +2.12%
Dubai FM 1502.21 +2.57%
Abu Dhabi SM 2466.13 +0.32%
Kuwait SE 5894.33 +0.26%
Doha SM 8256.68 +0.73%
Muscat SM 5578.38 -0.77%
Bahrain SE 1121.46 +0.03%
Cairo SE 4984.13 +0.84%
Amman 1891.89 -0.01%
ICE Brent $/bbl 100.42 -0.30%
Gold $/troy oz 1616.70 -0.30%
Euro-USD 1.25 -0.13%
DJIA 12943.82 +0.60%
By Tim Falconer
Of ZAWYA DOW JONES
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--Stocks in the Persian Gulf region are likely to trade higher early Wednesday, heartened by a global rally overnight on hopes for policy action by central banks this week, while crude oil's latest advance should also boost sentiment.
Investors are looking towards a European Central Bank rate decision meeting on Thursday, as well as U.S. employment data on Friday, which is expected to encourage the Federal Reserve to implement more policy easing.
"Delivering on expectations by the ECB and Bank of England and Friday's all important non-farm payrolls report will determine global sentiment over the remainder of the week," said IG Markets in a note to clients.
On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 72.43 points, or 0.6%, to 12943.82. Asian stocks were also broadly higher early Wednesday, while crude oil futures last traded at $87.65, keeping the heavy 4.7% gains made overnight, and putting oil 12.8% above its year-to-date low.
U.A.E.: Dubai's market closed 2.6% higher at 1502.21 Tuesday. Heavyweight Emaar Properties paced the advance, gaining 6.6% to AED3.08, amid speculation the firm's 30% Saudi-based subsidiary will benefit from the approval of the country's first regulatory framework for mortgage loans.
Shares of Gulf General Investment Co. surged 8.1% to AED0.348. The company on Tuesday said it finalized a debt restructuring deal with its 25 creditors that includes extending the company's debt maturities.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index there finished up 0.3% at 2466.13.
As part of its latest senior management rejig, Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat, Tuesday named Eissa Mohamed Al Suwaidi as its new chairman, replacing the long serving Mohammed Hassan Omran, a move aimed at reenergizing the U.A.E.'s number one telco by subscribers.
"In the context of a full management and board reshuffling it is a decision that just completes the process," said one Dubai-based analyst at an international bank. "We will see now if Etisalat continues to be a board-driven company, or, as suggested lately, if senior management will play a more important role in the decision-making process and fixing the company's future strategy."
Etisalat shares ended flat at AED9.20.
SAUDI ARABIA: The benchmark Tadawul Index closed up 2.1% at 6885.27 Tuesday. The local market received a boost from the Saudi council of ministers approving Monday long-awaited guidelines for mortgages in the kingdom, seeking to ease the legal uncertainties that have hindered the development of the home finance sector.
"Mortgage lending by banks in Saudi is about 2% of GDP and a mortgage law that allows for foreclosure will definitely encourage banks to increase mortgage lending," noted one analyst at an international bank.
In terms of stocks, banks lead from the front with investors working through the implications of the mortgage guidelines.
Bank Aljazira raced up 9.9% to SAR24.40, while Arab National Bank jumped 7.7% to SAR28.
In the real estate sector, Dar Al Arkan climbed 2% to SAR10.45 and Emaar E.C. gained 2.1% to SAR9.95.
KUWAIT: The market finished up 0.3% at 5894.33 Tuesday. The gauge has now gained 1.4% so far this year.
Kuwait-based Agility said Tuesday it has won a new contract estimated to be worth $238 million to provide logistics support to the Gorgon natural gas project in Western Australia. Its shares closed flat at KWD0.385.
QATAR: Doha's market closed Tuesday 0.7% higher at 8256.68.
"As the region's two big markets, Egypt and Saudi, advance, investors are also looking to increase their exposure to other regional blue chips, after recent losses," said a Dubai-based trader at EFG Hermes, noting that an uptick in global risk appetite is also supporting regional sentiment.
On a stock level, Industries Qatar shares rose 2.2% to QAR131.30, while Qatar Telecom added 1.3% to QAR106.70. Qatar National Bank edged up 0.2% to QAR133.20 ahead of its second quarter earnings statement due later Wednesday.
BAHRAIN: The main gauge of stocks closed flat at 1121.46.
OMAN: Muscat's market ended 0.8% lower at 5578.38 Tuesday.
EGYPT: The market closed up 0.8% at 4984.13. The main EGX30 gauge added some 15% last week after Mohammed Morsi was named winner of the presidential election. The market lost 19% in about a month preceding last week's rebound.
While the presidential election removes some immediate uncertainties, the focus will now shift to the economy, which remains in a severe state of stress, analysts warn.
In terms of stocks, Telecom Egypt dropped 2.8% to EGP13.27. Telecom Egypt, the country's sole fixed-line provider, said chief executive officer and managing director Tarek Aboualam has stepped down due to personal reasons after less than six months in the job.
"Aboualam was only recently appointed, which is quite strange. Moreover, we have noticed that Telecom Egypt saw many changes in its executive management and board of directors--some for personal reasons and some for reaching the age of retirement," said a Cairo-based Telecom analyst. "We need some clarification from the management whether they are making significant changes in the company's strategy."
NEWS FROM AROUND THE GULF: Qatar Airways on Tuesday expressed an interest in launching an airline registered in Saudi Arabia, but the carrier said it has concerns about excessive fuel charges and the Saudi government's policy of controlling domestic air fares.
Non-oil private sector business activity in the United Arab Emirates slightly eased to a three-month low in June, after surging to a 11-month high in May, due to slower growth in output, HSBC Holdings PLC said Tuesday
Domestic gas demand in the United Arab Emirates is growing by around 15% annually, the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd., or Gasco, said Tuesday.
A planned Gulf oil pipeline that will bypass the Strait of Hormuz is complete and will be commissioned this month, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co., or Adma-Opco, said on Tuesday.
Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, plans to open Harrods-style hotels in major cities around the world in a bid to expand the iconic London department store brand.
-By Tim Falconer, Dow Jones Newswires; +9714 446-1690; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Co.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires