| DUBAI, April 7
DUBAI, April 7 Kuwait's small-caps helped lift
the bourse to a 26-month high on Sunday as investors bet on
improving earnings, while other regional markets were mixed.
Kuwait's index climbed 0.5 percent, its highest
close since January 2011.
Turnover in the last three weeks has reached its highest
levels since early 2012, a positive sign.
Small-caps dominated trade with leisure firm National Ranges
surging 14.3 percent and International Financial
Advisors rising 6.9 percent.
"People are buying in on the fact that companies have
rectified their financials and are paying dividends - the bulk
of the trades have been in small stocks," said Fouad Darwish,
head of brokerage at Global Investment House.
Investors are also optimistic that the government will move
ahead with infrastructure projects that have been held back by a
long-running power battle between parliament and the government.
Political tensions have eased somewhat since December elections
in and the government has begun issuing some infrastructure
In Qatar, the market halted a three-session winning
streak, losing 0.5 percent. Investors booked gains ahead of a
new listing in May on Qatar's exchange, which hasn't seen an
initial public offer since November 2009.
Doha Global Investment Co, a new $12 billion Qatari
investment firm backed by the sovereign wealth fund, will offer
its shares to the public.
Although in the long term its presence could aid the market,
the offer will only be open to citizens, companies and
institutions in Qatar, and the drain on liquidity could be
negative in the run-up to the offer. Foreign investors will only
be able to buy the shares after they are listed.
Local investors are selling shares to raise money that they
will invest in Doha Global, and this trend is likely to continue
gradually in coming weeks, traders said.
"If the IPO is Islamic, there will be a higher participation
from Qatari investors," said Yassir Mckee, wealth manager at Al
Rayan Financial Brokerage Co. "(The selling pressure) would open
up buying opportunities for foreign and longer-term investors
depending on how much the prices decline."
Losers outnumbered gainers 16 to three. Industries Qatar
and Qatar National Bank decline 0.6 and 0.7
In Saudi Arabia, the bourse ended little changed.
Shares in Jarir Marketing rose 2 percent after posting
estimate-beating first-quarter earnings.
Elsewhere, Dubai's measure declined 0.3 percent,
halting three sessions of gains. Emaar Properties
dipped 2.2 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index eased 0.09 percent, down from
Thursday's 41-month closing high. Any break above resistance on
the February intra-day peak of 3,069 points would trigger a
bullish right triangle formed by the lows of the last few weeks,
and pointing up to the 3,180-point area.
In Egypt, recent selling pressure brought in bargain
hunters. The index rose 1 percent, extending gains
since Wednesday's four-month low.
Commercial International Bank and Orascom
Construction Industries rose 2.8 and 1.8 percent
EFG-Hermes gained 4 percent. The investment bank
said on Sunday a merger deal with Qatari investment company
QInvest will lapse on May 3 unless it receives long-awaited
approval from Egyptian regulators.
* The index rose 0.5 percent to 6,851 points.
* The index eased 0.02 percent to 7,113 points.
* The index rose 1 percent to 5,033 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,875 points.
* The index eased 0.09 percent to 3,056 points.
* The index declined 0.5 percent to 8,537 points.
The index gained 0.4 percent to 6,133 points.
* The index advanced 0.2 percent to 1,091 points.