x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Emaar shares continue to climb on Dubai mega-project optimism

Market update: Emaar Properties' shares advance to their highest level in two years, as the UAE's markets make gains.

Emaar Properties extended yesterday's gains in early trading this morning, as new government construction drives in Dubai boosted the developer's prospects.

The builder of the Burj Khalifa's shares increase 1 per cent to Dh3.77 each, while Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai Investments also advanced.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index gained 0.3 per cent to 1,608.13, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,650.13.

Emaar's shares have jumped to their highest level since December 2010 following an announcement that Dubai is to build "Mohammed Bin Rashid City", named after the emirate's ruler, a planned development which will contain 100 hotels and the world's largest mall.

In the capital, National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the biggest gainer, rising 2.1 per cent to Dh9.8 each, joined by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and telecomms giant Etisalat in leading the index higher.

Asian markets were mixed in early trading, with the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.2 per cent to 9,393.43 and the Hang Seng Index down 0.2 per cent at 21,852.44.

European equity futures mostly fell as investors assessed the results of Catalonia's referendum, which led to big gains for separatist parties, against the possibility of a breakup of Spain, the fourth-largest eurozone economy.

Oil prices cooled, with Brent crude futures falling 30 cents to $113.04 per barrel.