Optimism in Dubai ahead of first quarter earning results which sent the bourse higher this morning is not being felt in Abu Dhabi, which has opened lower.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was more than a third of a per cent down this morning at 2,565.98. Traditionally the more stable of the two UAE bourses lags the sentiment of more volatile Dubai stocks. The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose three quarters of a per cent to 1,664.69.
Trading has been sluggish in recent days as investors jostle nervously ahead of first quarter performance figures.
Mannai, a Qatar-listed trade and services conglomerate, and EFG Hermes, the Egyptian investment bank, have made a joint bid of $445m for Dubai-based Damas International, the largest gold and jewellery retailer in the Middle East.
Troubled Damas reached a restructuring agreement with its lenders on more than Dh3 billion worth of debt last January in order to allow it to stay in business.
If approved, Mannai and EFG Hermes will acquire Damas via a bidding company at $0.45 a share. On completion, Mannai will indirectly hold 66 per cent of Damas, with EFG Hermes holding 19 per cent.
The Abdullah brothers - Tawhid, Tawfique and Tamjid -, Damas' current majority shareholders, will be required to reinvest part of their consideration in a collective indirect interest of 15 per cent, in line with arrangements previously agreed with their creditors.
Shares in EFG Hermes were up 4.24 per cent at 14 Egyptian pounds last night at the close in Cairo. Damas is currently trading at Dh0.41 a piece on the Nasdaq Dubai. Mannai was unchanged at 92 Qatari riyals.
Global stocks fell on weaker than expected earnings data from China, despite positive consumer confidence numbers from the United States, which analysts say shows the ongoing nervousness about the world economy.
China's stocks weighed after some of the nation's largest metals producers reported slumping earnings, adding to concern slowing economic growth and tight monetary policies are hurting profits.