|07 April, 2019

Mideast Stocks: ADNOC Distribution shines in Abu Dhabi, Saudi drops

Union Properties rises in heavy trade

An investor looks at stock information in front of an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market March 21, 2010.

An investor looks at stock information in front of an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market March 21, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

DUBAI- ADNOC Distribution lifted the Abu Dhabi stock market on Sunday and Dubai continued its winning streak, while Saudi Arabia lagged behind.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4 percent, as ADNOC Distribution rose 8 percent to a one year high of 2.7 dirhams ($0.7351).

Last week, the company's shareholders approved an increase in the firm's dividend policy. The company also won shareholder approval to buy back up to 62.5 million shares, equivalent to 5 percent of its free float during a 12-month period, should it choose to do so. 

Separately, Reuters reported that the firm was considering a secondary listing overseas. 

The Dubai index increased 0.2 percent, rising for its seventh straight session. Union Properties was by far the stock with the highest trading volume, gaining 0.8 percent.

Emirates NBD Bank - which Dubai-based Arqaam Capital on Sunday called its "top buy" - added 1.3 percent after saying last week that it will buy Denizbank. 

Heavyweight Emaar Properties was down 0.4 percent, while Shuaa Capital was up 4.3 percent. The firm is set to merge with Abu Dhabi Financial Group soon in a reverse takeover.

Dana Gas and Eshraq Properties were among the stocks registering the highest trading volumes in Abu Dhabi, and they went up 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul index was down 0.6 percent, ending a previous 9-day gain streak pulled down by Al Rajhi Bank which was down 1.1 percent.

"Being a Sunday, foreigners were absent (from the Saudi market) and we suspect local investors are booking some of the recent profits," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital in Dubai.

Saudi Almarai was down 0.5 percent in thin trading volume, after what Arqaam capital called "uninspiring results" in a report on the company's first quarter.

Led by Ahli United Bank, which was up 2.5 percent, Bahrain's stock market .BAX added 1.5 percent. On Wednesday, the bank said due diligence for a merger with Kuwait Finance House was in progress. 

Egypt's stock market was down 0.7 percent on Sunday, weighed down mainly by Orascom Investment Holding, which lost 7.1 percent after reporting last week a drop in standalone net profit. 

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir Editing by Keith Weir) ((Nafisa.Eltahir@thomsonreuters.com; +971 56 22 61754;))

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