x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Aramex leads UAE gains

Dubai outperformed regional indices, led by acquisition announcement from Aramex. Saudi shares gain on King's efforts to boost jobs and social security.

The Middle East's largest courier company led Dubai shares higher yesterday as UAE markets rebounded from losses earlier in the week.

Aramex said yesterday it had acquired Aquaship Agencies, based in Ireland, as part of its expansion into Europe. The company did not provide financial details of the deal.

Aramex closed 4.6 per cent higher at Dh1.58, although still short of recovering the 20 per cent shaved off the shares in the previous four days of trading.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 1.3 per cent higher at 1,499.04. Gulf markets were punished earlier in the week by investor fears over the economic implications of continuing regional unrest.

"We saw some buying today," said Ameed Kanaan, the chief executive of AlJazeera Financial Services in Dubai. "One trading session in the green is still not enough to break even with the declines made this week."

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 1.1 per cent to 2,608.24, led by the banking sector. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank added 4.1 per cent to Dh2.26 a share and Union National Bank rose 2.1 per cent to Dh3.29.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure added 0.7 per cent to 6,466.60; Bahrain's measure gained 0.3 per cent to 1,472.77; Oman's index lost 1.1 per cent to 6,655.53; and Qatar's bourse declined 0.4 per cent to 8,176.74.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index lost 0.2 per cent to 6,263.79