Shares in Dubai declined the most among the regional equities markets yesterday, as weakness on Wall Street and fresh uncertainties over Dubai World debt restructuring proposals weighed heavy. The Dubai Financial Market General Index dropped 2.3 per cent to 1775.56, pulled down by construction, property and banking stocks. Arabtec was the top loser, retreating 5.6 per cent, while Emaar Properties fell 3.9 per cent.
Emirates NBD, the largest lender in the country by assets, also declined 2 per cent. Dubai Islamic Bank slipped 3.8 per cent. Commercial Bank of Dubai was the only exception, closing 3.2 per cent higher on slim trade volume. "The market is reflecting what is happening outside," said Fadi al Said, a senior fund manager and the head of equities at ING Investment Management in Dubai. "The Goldman Sachs inquiry, weak oil and subsequent fall in equities are affecting the market. Of course, fresh uncertainties on Dubai World are an additional burden. It is a disappointment, as the market was expecting a positive reception to restructuring proposals."
Creditors of Dubai World have rejected a 1 per cent interest rate to roll over its debt over five and eight years, Reuters said. Dubai World is negotiating with more than 90 lenders to restructure US$23 billion. Losses in property and investment stocks dragged the Abu Dhabi' Securities Exchange General Index 1 per cent lower to 2828.35. Aldar Properties dropped 4.8 per cent. The developer's chief executive said he expected continued difficulty in securing sales this year, although the firm was moving cautiously ahead with major projects. Sorouh Real Estate stocks declined 2.9 per cent, while Aabar Investments dropped 2.1 per cent.
Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's main measure retreated 1 per cent while Muscat and Bahrain shares declined 0.4 and 0.3 per cent, respectively. The Kuwait index closed flat while Saudi Arabia's Tadawul declined 0.6 per cent. email@example.com