MIDEAST STOCKS-Property, banks lift UAE bourses after Dubai debt rollover

Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:34am EDT

Related Topics

* Rollover was expected but is positive signal on UAE policy

* Dubai's Emaar retests chart resistance

* Qatar boosted by Gulf International Services

* Mesaieed Petrochemical falls after publishing first results

* Kuwait's Noor Financial drops as Pakistan deal blocked

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, March 17 (Reuters) - Property and banking shares lifted stock markets in the United Arab Emirates on Monday after Dubai obtained a roll-over of $20 billion of debt. Other markets in the region were mixed as uncertainty over the Ukraine crisis continued to prompt profit-taking by some retail investors.

Abu Dhabi and the central bank of the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that they had agreed to extend for five years $20 billion of loans which were provided to the Dubai government as emergency aid during its financial crisis, and were due to mature this year in two tranches.

The roll-over had been widely expected, but it was still good news for Dubai, and Abu Dhabi's decision to deal with both tranches at once - rather than waiting until each one matured - appeared to suggest a determination to clear obstacles to growth in the UAE.

Meanwhile, shares in Dubai's Emaar Properties added 1.7 percent to 9.25 dirhams, testing chart resistance at 9.16-9.20 dirhams - the February and March highs - for a second day after the company announced a higher 2013 dividend and a plan to list its shopping mall unit.

Many analysts have higher fair-value estimates for Emaar - EFG-Hermes estimates 10.10 dirhams while Arqaam Capital calculates 12.00 dirhams - and any clean break of the chart barrier, in the form of a second straight daily close above it, could signal a fresh leg up for the stock.

"On the monthly chart the stock is now seen heading higher to 12 dirhams and 15 dirhams in the coming months," said Shiv Prakash, senior technical analyst at NBAD Securities.

Other property-related names in Dubai posted even stronger gains. Builder Arabtec Holding jumped 6.4 percent and contractor Drake & Scull added 3.9 percent.

Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments, said Arabtec was subject to "positive speculation" ahead of a board meeting on Tuesday which will review its annual financial results. Traders said there was speculation about possible profit distribution.

Developer Deyaar gained 2.5 percent after saying it had sold out the residential units at a new mixed-use project, registering 500 million dirhams ($136 million) in sales within hours of opening.

Deyaar's big shareholder, Dubai Islamic Bank, added 1.1 percent while another local lender, Commercial Bank of Dubai, jumped 6.2 percent.

Dubai's main stock index climbed 1.6 percent but total trading turnover was only slightly higher than Sunday's moderate level.

Banks also lifted the bourse in Abu Dhabi, which jumped 1.9 percent. First Gulf Bank added 4.4 percent, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 3.1 percent and Union National Bank gained 4.9 percent.

QATAR

Qatar's index, on the other hand, added 0.6 percent largely on the back of a single stock, industrial services provider Gulf International Services, which jumped 9.9 percent on average trading volume.

The firm made no announcements this week. Last week, its annual meeting approved a 20 percent cash dividend and a 25 percent bonus share issue.

Qatar's Mesaieed Petrochemical resumed sliding after it published its income statement for September-December 2013 and proposed a 3.5 percent cash dividend. The stock dropped 4.0 percent; last month it listed at levels which analysts believe was far above fair value.

In Kuwait, Noor Financial Investment Co dropped 4.8 percent after saying the proposed sale of its stake in Karachi-based Meezan Bank had been blocked by Pakistan's central bank.

Egypt's bourse added 0.4 percent to 8,161 points, rebounding from Sunday's dip, but remained range-bound between the 8,100- and 8,250-point levels.

"Egypt is waiting for the official, formal and final position of Field Marshal Sisi on the presidency," said Islam Batrawy, Cairo-based head of regional equity sales at NBK Capital. Investors hope and expect Sisi will soon announce his intention to run for president.

MONDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The index gained 1.6 percent to 4,125 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index climbed 1.9 percent to 4,823 points.

QATAR

* The index added 0.6 percent to 11,402 points.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 9,368 points.

KUWAIT

* The index declined 0.3 percent to 7,409 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 8,161 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.4 percent to 6,995 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index slid 0.3 percent to 1,371 points. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams) (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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