x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bank deal boost for Mashreq

Mashreq Bank, Dubai's third largest bank by assets, led shares higher yesterday after it closed a $140 million facility with Sri Lanka's largest bank.

Mashreq surged yesterday after Dubai's third-biggest lender by assets said it had closed a US$140 million syndicated facility for Sri Lanka's largest bank, Bank of Ceylon.

Mashreq's shares jumped 8.5 per cent to Dh95. The Dubai Financial Market General Index added 0.1 per cent to 1,329.69.

Property stocks weighed on Abu Dhabi's index after Aldar Properties said it was holding a board meeting tomorrow to consider the sale of some of its assets.

Aldar dropped 2.3 per cent to 83 fils a share. Sorouh Real Estate, the capital's second-largest developer, dropped 3.6 per cent to 79 fils a share. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was little changed at 2,352.37.

"Aldar and Sorouh are trading at historic lows. The market is pricing them at a 30 per cent discount to their total assets," said Marwan Shurrab, the chief trader at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. "Investor fears, coupled with a lack of positive catalysts are preventing bottom-fishing at these levels."

The negative sentiment caused contagion for property and construction firms in Dubai, Mr Shurrab said. Emaar Properties, Union Properties, Arabtec Holding and Drake & Scull International all slumped.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's index was little changed at 5,801.40; Bahrain's index added 1.3 per cent to 1,147.91; Oman's measure added 0.5 per cent to 5,677.59; Qatar's QE Index lost 0.3 per cent to 8,785.32. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index added 0.5 per cent to 6,414.47.

halsayegh@thenational.ae