x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Courier's expansion may boost stock price

What's Up: Aramex offers more than 10 per cent upside, Bahrain-based brokerage house SICO said.

Aramex is planning to expand its global footprint as it mulls acquisitions in Turkey, a move that could link its regional operations with Europe.

Although the region's largest courier company has lost about 15 per cent this year because of regional unrest and rising jet fuel prices, at least one brokerage believes the stock has upside potential of 10 per cent.

"We believe that the price decline is unjustified," said Ambereen Jiwani, an analyst at Securities and Investment Company (SICO) in Bahrain.

SICO estimates the fair value of the shares are at Dh2.

That represents a premium of 13 per cent to yesterday's closing price of Dh1.77.

Aramex is eyeing acquisitions in Turkey to strengthen its presence outside the Middle East.

Aramex generated record revenues of Dh648 million and profits of Dh56.5m in the second quarter of this year.

Net profit grew 3 per cent to Dh56.5m in the quarter.

Middle Eastern air freight growth in the first half of the year has fared better than its global peers.

Freight growth in the region dropped to 3.7 per cent in June compared with a monthly average of 10.3 per cent. Global freight recorded a minus 3 per cent drop.

"The relatively strong reported Mena [Middle East and North Africa] air freight growth reflects the comparatively stronger GCC economies and higher demand for imported goods, including electronics and machinery, as a result of pay hikes and incentive packages announced by Gulf governments," Mr Jiwani said.

"Trade growth is expected to slow down in the third quarter because of renewed global economic growth concerns and Ramadan; however, higher fiscal spending and commodity prices will offset a portion of the expected decline."