x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Air Arabia top market performer

Property stocks lagged but Air Arabia flew into pole position as one of the Dubai main market's top gainers at the close

Air Arabia landed centre stage as one of the top performers on Dubai's main exchange yesterday, although the property sector struggled to stir up investor interest.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index slipped 0.4 per cent to 1,626.07 and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index declined 0.6 per cent to 2,698.46.

Air Arabia was up 0.7 per cent at 79 fils. DFM Company, the Arab world's only listed exchange, also rose 0.7 per cent, to Dh1.50.

The stock may have benefited from a decision by the Securities and Commodities Authority to allow margin trading for all publicly listed companies on the UAE's two main bourses.

Margin trading allows a trader to borrow money from a broker to buy a stock, using other stock as collateral. Property stocks struggled to pick up in early trading, with Deyaar Development declining 1 per cent to 30 fils and the building contractor Arabtec slumping 1.5 per cent to Dh1.97.

Union Properties reversed an intraday decline of 1.3 per cent to close 0.3 per cent higher at 37 fils.

In Abu Dhabi, the property sector did not fare much better. Aldar Properties lost 0.8 per cent to close at Dh2.28 and Sorouh Real Estate lost 0.6 per cent, closing at Dh1.63. RAK Properties ended the day flat at 46 fils.

In the wider region, Bahrain's was the only market in negative territory, slipping 0.24 per cent to 1,423.69. Oman and Qatar each advanced 0.38 per cent to 6,709.86 and 8,664.15, respectively. Kuwait rose 0.32 per cent to 6,819.50 and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index advanced 0.14 to 6,604.71.