Major Gulf markets slip, but Dubai set for another weekly gain
Most major Gulf stock markets opened lower on Thursday, although the Dubai index was still set for its fourth weekly gain after recent gains in property shares and financial stocks.
Dubai’s main share index fell 0.4%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank off 1%, while blue-chip developer Emaar Properties dropped 0.7%.
House prices in Dubai are expected to rise for the first time in six years in 2021, supported by a swift vaccine rollout that has lifted hopes for economic recovery, a Reuters poll of property analysts showed.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.2%, extending losses from the previous session, weighed by a 2.1% fall in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Among others, Abu Dhabi National Company for Distribution, the largest operator of petrol stations and convenience stores in the United Arab Emirates, dropped 7.2%.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said it raised $1.64 billion by issuing exchangeable bonds and additional shares to investors in its listed retail unit ADNOC Distribution on Wednesday.
This could increase ADNOC Distribution’s free float to 30%, it said.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index eased 0.1%, hit by a 0.2% fall in Al Rajhi Bank.
In Qatar, the index gained 0.7%, with Qatar National Bank rising 1.7%, while petrochemical firm Industries Qatar increased 1.1%.
The Gulf Arab state said on Wednesday that leisure and education centres and restaurants can reopen at limited capacity as of Friday under a phased easing of coronavirus-related measures.
It said local and international sporting events can take place with fully vaccinated fans at 30% capacity in outdoor venues, with permission from the public health ministry.
Source : Reuters | Photocredit : Google