Emaar Properties, the Dubai real estate group, will be the stock to watch today as its board meets to discuss its first dividend payments since 2008.
The largest developer in the region last year agreed to make a payout. Emaar increased net profits by 76 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year after revenues from its retail and hospitality divisions soared.
Overall, revenues increased 20 per cent to Dh2.2 billion in the final quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter, with net profits jumping from Dh406 million to Dh716m, beating analyst expectations.
The stock opened down 0.98 per cent at Dh3.03, after closing down 1.3 per cent yesterday. The stock is up 19.07 per cent since the start of January.
Drake and Skull, a Dubai construction which is Emaar's main rival, is also seen going higher after it said its unit won an Dh135 million-dirham ($37 million) contract in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to an announcement on the Dubai Financial Market General Index. The construction company's shares were up 0.99 per cent to Dh1.02 in early trading.
The DFMGI opened down 0.4 per cent at 1653.89. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market Index began trading 0.13 per cent lower at 2603.00.
Saudi Electricity Company could also be a mover ahead of its meeting with fixed-income investors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East starting March 21 to sell a dollar-denominated Islamic bonds.
In Egypt, officials begin talks today with an International Monetary Fund mission over a $3.2 billion loan the North African country has requested. Egypt also plans to raise 1 billion pounds in seven-year bond sale.