x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Election mood sparks Kuwait market rally

Markets Wrap: Kuwait's bourse rallied to a six-week high yesterday in heavy trade ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections, while UAE markets ended mixed.

Kuwait's bourse rallied to a six-week high yesterday. REUTERS / Stephanie McGehee
Kuwait's bourse rallied to a six-week high yesterday. REUTERS / Stephanie McGehee

Kuwait's bourse rallied to a six-week high yesterday in heavy trade ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections, while UAE markets ended mixed. National Bank of Kuwait climbed 1 per cent, Gulf Bank rose 1.2 per cent and Boubyan Bank added 1.6 per cent.

Kuwait Finance House rose 2.5 per cent. The Islamic lender said it would recommend a 20 per cent capital hike to shareholders. The index climbed 0.8 per cent to 5,950.99 points, its highest close since October 15. Turnover rose to 53 million dinars, the highest daily value since March 21.

The benchmark has gained 5.3 per cent since November 4's eight-year low. Market participants say the recent recovery is partly because of state-linked bodies such as the National Portfolio Fund buying bluechips.

"The positive trend is a reflection of the quietness of the political tension, along with the National Portfolio being more active, to give back more confidence to the investors," Global Investment House said in a note. Authorities will allow a protest march to go ahead the day before the December 1 parliamentary election in Kuwait, the prime minister said in a move designed to ease tensions ahead of the poll.

Elsewhere, Dubai's measure edged up 0.2 per cent to 1,591.46, up for a third session in the past five. Trading is muted as investors wait for fresh catalysts. The market is up 17.6 per cent year-to-date, among the best performing in the Arabian Gulf. Emaar Properties added 0.8 per cent and Dubai Financial Market, the Gulf's only listed bourse, climbed 0.1 per cent.

Abu Dhabi's measure slipped 0.1 per cent to close at 2,643.44. Banks weighed on the market as investors booked recent gains. Abu Dhabi Commercial Islamic Bank fell 2.3 per cent and First Gulf Bank slipped 1 per cent. In Qatar, the benchmark ended 0.3 per cent lower at 8,400.72, extending declines since Sunday's one-week high.