Trading activity on the Dubai Financial Market witnessed strong growth in March, a report showed on Monday.

According to Kamco Invest’s GCC Markets Monthly Report, total volume traded on the DFM increased by 36.9 per cent to reach 4.8 billion shares during the month, as compared to 3.5 billion shares in February.

The DFM General Index recorded 1.5 per cent fall in March, its first decline after four straight months of gains, closing the month at 4,246.3 points. The monthly sector performance chart was evenly balanced with four out of eight sectors recording declines while the remaining four saw gains during the period.

However, the decline in the financial sector (-5.2 per cent), the largest weighted sector in the exchange, dragged the general index to the red. The decline in the index was mainly due to the double-digit share price declines of several of its constituent companies such as Mashreq Bank (-14.6 per cent). The consumer staples sector recorded the second largest decline among the sector indices (-1.4 per cent) followed by the communications services index (-1.2 per cent).

On the other hand, the real estate index registered a 4.0 per cent gain during March-2024, the biggest gain among the indices to close the month at 8,034.1 points. The indices’ remarkable monthly growth was mainly driven by the double-digit growth of two of its key constituent companies, i.e., Deyaar Development (+11.5 per cent) and Union Properties (+20.3 per cent).

According to monthly stock performance from Bloomberg, Union Properties topped the monthly gainers table with 20.3 per cent jump in share price followed by Ithmaar Holding and GFH followed with gains of 19.2 per cent and 13.7 per cent, respectively. Union Properties recorded exceptional financial results for the 2023 fiscal year which reached Dh811 million recording 60 per cent annual growth in operating profits reflecting real estate demand. On the decliner’s side, Al Salam Bank Sudan topped the table with a decline of 15.1 per cent followed by shares of Mashreq Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank which recorded declines of 14.6 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively, during March.

The total value of shares traded during the month increased at a relatively lower pace of 11.1 per cent to reach Dh8.8 billion, as compared to Dh7.9 billion during February. Union Properties topped the monthly volumes traded chart recording 1.1 billion shares which changed hands during the month followed by Gulf Finance House and Deyaar Development, which saw 617.9 million and 313.7 million of their shares change hands during the month, respectively.

On the monthly value traded chart, Emaar Properties topped the list with Dh1.7 billion worth of shares changing hands during the month, followed by Dubai Islamic Bank, and Emaar Development which saw Dh850.7 million and Dh776.7 million value of their shares traded, respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, the FTSE ADX index recorded a marginal 0.3 per cent decline in March, continuing its declining trend in 2024 to close the month at 9,228.09 points. The decline also steepened the fall in terms of YTD-2024 performance that reached -3.7 per cent, the second-biggest in the GCC and the only other declining market along with Qatar. The performance of the ten sector indices on the ADX was evenly balanced as five indices recorded declines during the month while the remaining five witnessed gains.

The consumer discretionary index posted the largest fall among the indices in March, with a decline of 3.0 per cent to close the month at 6,645.6 points. The decline was led by the fall in prices of Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company, which witnessed an 3.3 per cent fall in its share prices during the month. The industrials index recorded the second-largest monthly fall during the month, with a 1.9 per cent drop to close the month at 2,911.7 points.

On the other hand, the consumer staples index witnessed a 10.8 per cent gain during the month, the largest gain among the indices in the exchange, followed by the Basic Materials Index which recorded a 6.5 per cent increase during the similar period. Agthia Group’s 12.2 per cent share jump was the main driver of the Consumer Staples Index growth during the month.

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