x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Building stocks weigh on bourse

Profit-taking in property and construction stocks pulled the main bourse lower

Shares in Dubai declined the most among the Gulf equity markets as profit-taking in property and construction stocks pulled the main bourse lower yesterday. The Dubai Financial Market General Index dropped 0.7 per cent to 1,538.98, giving up early gains as investors sold Emaar Properties, Deyaar Development and Union Propertiesin the last trading session of the week. Deyaar had surged more than 13 per cent on Wednesday on news that the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authoritywould not suspend trading in the stock, which is priced 60 per cent below its nominal value of Dh1. Yesterday, Deyaar dropped 1.1 per cent to 34.5 fils.

For the second day running, Deyaar dominated trade, accounting for more than a third of volume. Bellwether Emaar retreated 2.1 per cent to Dh3.26, while a third Dubai-listed developer, Union Properties, declined 1.8 per cent to 38.1 fils. Arabtec Holding, the largest listed contractor in the country, retreated 2 per cent to Dh1.87. "The price action had been positive this week, and there were gains in most of these stocks. Investors just booked profits," said Fadi al Said, a senior fund manager at ING Investments Management in Dubai. "It was a breather for the market," he said.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed flat for the second session in a row at 2,553.44. Dana Gas again led the trade volumes but closed unchanged at 71 fils. The company plans to buy back 10 per cent of its shares. Elsewhere in the region, the markets closed mixed with Kuwait and Bahrain indexes falling 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively, while the main measures in Qatar and Muscat each declined 0.1 per cent. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was closed for the weekend.