x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Aramex sets pace for DFM's gain

Strong results from Aramex delivered a lift to the Dubai Financial Market

Strong results from Aramex delivered a lift to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) as investors ordered up shares of the region's largest courier firm. The DFM General Index yesterday edged ahead by 0.1 per cent to 1,509.66. Aramex, which posted 10 per cent growth in its second-quarter net profit compared with the same period last year, closed 1.8 per cent higher at Dh1.70. Arabtec Holding, the largest contractor in the country, gained 1.1 per cent to Dh1.76. The company told the market yesterday it had secured a Dh2.5 billion contract for a mixed-use development in Ras al Khaimah.

But Emaar Properties declined by 0.3 per cent to Dh3.24, which helped restrict the market's overall gains. Activity was back "to a range-bound trade pattern" yesterday after it focused on Emaar the day before, said Yazan Abdeen, a fund manager at ING Investments Management in Dubai. Mr Abdeen said a 14.8 per cent surge in the shares of Gulf Finance House to 55 fils appeared to be powered by speculative interest as the company had not yet announced its first-half earnings.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed marginally higher at 2,559.45, helped by gains in Sorouh Real Estate, which rose by 2.4 per cent to Dh1.81. The developer is expected to release its latest earnings today. Umm Al Qaiwain Cement advanced 2.9 per cent to 69 fils. Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index advanced by 0.5 per cent, while the benchmark readings in Qatar and Bahrain dropped by 0.8 and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

Muscat closed with minor losses, while the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index advanced by 0.6 per cent. @Email:skhan@thenational.ae