DUBAI // The regional indexes were choppy on the first trading day of the week, with the Dubai Financial Market General Index and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index pulled back by continued profit-taking. Dubai's main measure closed 0.5 per cent lower at 1,850.54 as property and insurance sector stocks weighed on the market. Emaar Properties declined 1 per cent after the developer announced it was rolling over US$1.23 billion of debt scheduled to mature this year into long-term financing. The other two listed developers, Deyaar and Union Properties, both retreated 2 per cent on modest volumes.
Salama-Islamic Arab Insurance was the biggest loser, ending trading 5.3 per cent lower, followed by Dubai Islamic Insurance down 3.2 per cent. Nour al Zoubi, the general manager at MacSharaf Securities in Dubai, said profit-taking was largely expected and market heavyweights Emaar and Emirates NBD came under selling pressure towards the end of the day. In Abu Dhabi, the main measure ended the day marginally higher at 2860.73. Property and some of the banking stocks prevented the index from slipping into the red. Aldar and Sorouh Properties advanced 2.6 and 2 per cent, respectively. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was the major gainer among financial services stocks, rising 2.4 per cent. Etisalat and First Gulf Bank closed 0.5 and 0.8 per cent lower, respectively.
Etisalat is under selling pressure after paying its dividend and "its dispute with the Pakistan government is also playing on investor minds", Mr al Zoubi said. Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain ended up 1.4 per cent, while the main measures of both Qatar and Muscat ended 1.3 per cent higher. Kuwait was up 0.6 per cent and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index closed down 0.1 per cent. @Email:email@example.com