x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai World speculation sparks investor interest

Regional markets surged higher yesterday as investor sentiment lightened from its dour mood of recent weeks.

Regional markets surged higher yesterday as investor sentiment lightened from its dour mood of recent weeks. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 2.3 per cent higher at 1,621.73, while Nasdaq Dubai closed 1.17 per cent higher at 1,622.50. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed 0.7 per cent higher at 2,747.29. "We are hearing more people talk more positive things," said Saad al Chalabi, an institutional trader at Al Ramz Securities, based in Abu Dhabi. "All rumours are now positive rumours. In the past they were just negative."

The most prominent speculation was that Dubai World planned to meet its creditors again this week, although there was no official announcement. The rumours seemed to spark interest in shares around the region. The market bellwether Emaar Properties had 44 million shares change hands, the most since February 14. Mr al Chalabi called the increased volume "a great sign for UAE equities". Emaar closed up 6 per cent at Dh3.17.

Aldar Properties, which was downgraded by Moody's Investors Service last Thursday, closed 0.5 per cent higher at Dh3.48. Traders said the rise indicated that the negative news had already been taken into account. After several weeks of low volumes, trading increased significantly in Dubai, although it was still not back up to its 50-day average. "We're still not there yet, but we're getting close," said Mr al Chalabi.

Elsewhere in the region, the Muscat and Bahrain benchmark indexes closed higher at 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively. The Saudi Tadawul All Share Index closed 0.2 per cent higher at 6,556.88. The Qatar Exchange was closed for a holiday. halsayegh@thenational.ae