x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Etisalat shares gain for first time in more than a week

Etisalat was buoyed by investor confidence that it will complete its acquisition of a controlling stake in Zain, Kuwait's biggest telecoms operator

Shares in Etisalat gained today for the first time in over a week as optimism grew among investors that the telecommunications operator would succeed in its bid to acquire a controlling stake in the Kuwaiti rival Zain.

The UAE's biggest company by market capitalisation rose 0.47 per cent to Dh10.60 on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

On Sunday, Etisalat extended a deadline to acquire a 46 per cent stake in the Kuwaiti telecoms operator, worth an estimated Dh44 billion.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, lost the most in more than a week after it said it had sold its Caribbean power assets as it refocuses its energy production and pay off debt. Taqa retreated 1.34 per cent to Dh1.47 at the open.

Aldar Properties, meanwhile, fell nearly 1 per cent to Dh2.08 at the open, after notching up its highest gain in more than a month yesterday.

The Abu Dhabi developer said it had no plans to delist its stock after investors asked for clarification of its capital-raising plans, in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse.

The company added that the assets sales, which include land and residential units at Al Raha beach, will exclude its Yas Hotel development.

The ADX General Index rose 0.33 per cent to 2,688.38.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index advanced 0.05 per cent to 1,623.17, extending gains yesterday that helped the index to its biggest rise in almost two weeks.

Momentum elsewhere in the world led US stocks to extend a seven-week rally. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.1 per cent to 1,295.02 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent to 11,837.93.

In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index closed at 138.98 points, after reaching a two-and-a-half-year high.