* Dubai's Shuaa Capital surges on hopes for lucrative IPO
* Abu Dhabi's TAQA falls for second day since posting 2013
* Qatar Islamic Bank gains on Turkey acquisition plan
* Batelco rises after bond buyback proposal
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, March 26 Banks and property stocks lifted
Dubai and Abu Dhabi's markets on Wednesday, while other regional
bourses were little moved.
Dubai's bourse added 0.9 percent as Emaar
Properties and contractor Arabtec Holding
rose 0.8 and 2.8 percent respectively.
Investment bank Shuaa Capital was the top gainer,
surging 14.7 percent on bets it may benefit from an expected
increase in initial public offerings in the United Arab
Emirates. Shuua's trading volume was its largest of 2014.
The UAE government has indicated it will soon approve a
long-awaited companies law that analysts hope will cut the
minimum free float in IPOs to 30 percent from 55 percent at
Many family-owned businesses have been unwilling to lose
majority control so reducing the minimum free float should
encourage more firms to list. The current rules have led some
companies to instead look to list abroad.
"There are rumours about more and more IPOs coming back to
the market and for Shuaa it's their core business," says
Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
Some market participants said those buying Shuaa on
Wednesday were betting it would win a mandate to run the $2.5
billion listing of Emaar's shopping mall unit.
Shares in Shuaa Capital have lagged the wider market's
recovery and at 1.25 dirhams after Wednesday's rally are still
trading at less than an eighth of their 2008 high.
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.8 percent.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi and developer Aldar
Peoperties climbed 2.2 and 5.3 percent respectively.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) fell 4
percent, declining for a second day since the company reported a
2013 net loss and proposed no dividend payout.
In Doha, Qatar Islamic Bank was one of the top
gainers, up 0.8 percent after saying it was in talks to buy a
"strategic stake" in Turkey's Bank Asya.
State-run Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco)
gained 3.1 percent after announcing plans to buy back a third of
outstanding bonds due in 2020, using excess liquidity from a
scrapped acquisition to lower its debt servicing costs.
Oman's bourse suffered from a technical glitch for a second
day but managed to resolve it before the end of the session. Its
index fell 0.2 percent.
* The index climbed 0.9 percent to 4,383 points.
* The index rose 0.8 percent to 4,853 points.
* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 9,450 points.
* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 11,331 points.
* The index rose 0.1 percent to 7,592 points.
* The index fell 0.1 percent to 1,355 points.
* The index eased 0.3 percent to 8,481 points.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams)
(Editing by Matt Smith)