Saudi Arabia, Egypt outperform in weak region

Saudi Arabia, Egypt outperform in weak region

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DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in a mostly weak Gulf region on Tuesday after data showed deflationary pressure on the economy easing, while Egypt also gained but trading volume remained very low because of the end-of-year holiday period.

The Saudi index rose 0.4 per cent as real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, jumped 7.8pc to its highest finish since September 2014.

The stock soared between mid-November, when international index compiler MSCI said it was adding it to its Saudi Arabia Index, and mid-December. Investors are also hoping for the company to reach a deal with the housing ministry on building homes.

Arab Sea Information Systems jumped 8.9pc after signing a memorandum of understanding with the government’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority to provide it with services and technical solutions.

Saudi Industrial Export gained 4.9pc as a capital decrease to 10.8 million riyals ($2.9m) from 108m riyals through a share cancellation went into effect, ahead of a rights issue.

Government data released on Tuesday showed Saudi consumer prices rising from a year earlier in November for the first time in 11 months. The price index edged up 0.1pc.

The country experienced consumer price deflation in the first 10 months of this year, partly because of a weak economy. But non-oil sector growth picked up in the fourth quarter, to a large degree because of higher government spending.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7pc as two Bahraini banks which have been the focus of speculative trade in the last few days, Khaleeji Commercial Bank and Al Salam Bank, pulled back.

Union Properties was again the most heavily traded stock, rising 1.0pc. On Monday, it surged 3.3pc after saying it planned to list its ServeU facilities management unit in Dubai in the second half of 2018.

Abu Dhabi’s index slipped 0.4pc. Dana Gas was flat after soaring 13.2pc on Monday, when a court in the emirate of Sharjah was to hear a case in which Dana is seeking to avoid having to redeem $700 million of outstanding sukuk. The company did not issue a statement about the hearing and court officials could not be reached to comment.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.8pc but Qatar First Bank, the most heavily traded stock, fell back 1.9pc. It began a rebound from record lows in late November.

Egypt’s index gained 0.5pc as GB Auto added 3.4pc in its highest trading volume for a week.

courtesy-dawn December 27th, 2017

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