x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Good news fails to lift markets

The debt restructurings at Dubai World and its property subsidiary Nakheel, and a weaker overall property sector continue to weigh on the markets

The UAE's markets closed flat yesterday despite strong second-quarter profits at an Abu Dhabi bank and a higher takeover offer for one of the emirate's most prominent listed companies. "The markets aren't going to improve substantially in volumes or otherwise on second-quarter earnings," said Hassan al Salah, the head of institutional trading at AlRamz Securities in Abu Dhabi. The debt restructurings at Dubai World and its property subsidiary Nakheel, and a weaker overall property sector continue to weigh on the markets, Mr al Salah said.

"The rallies driven by positive sentiment concerning Dubai Government-related entities weren't being realistic," he said. The Dubai Financial Market General Index dropped 0.8 per cent to 1,507.61. Arabtec shares dropped 2.7 per cent to Dh1.79. The company's stock had shot up 6 per cent on news that Nakheel had reached debt restructuring agreement with creditors. The financial sector fell the most. Dubai Islamic Bank dropped 1 per cent to Dh1.96 a share, while Emirates NBD, the UAE's largest bank, dropped 3.5 per cent to Dh2.44 a share.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index added 0.1 per cent to 2,526.44 - a small rise that came despite a strong second-quarter performance at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and a better offer for shareholders in a planned takeover of Aabar Investments. Waha Capital rose 1.7 per cent to 58 fils. Waha Aerospace, a vehicle the company is using to issue bonds, was given a high "A2" debt rating by Moody's Investors Service on Friday.

Etisalat, the country's dominant telecoms operator, added 0.4 per cent to close at Dh10.40. Its board is to convene today to discuss its dividend for the first half of the year. Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index fell 0.3 per cent to 6,492.60, while Bahrain's measure added 0.4 per cent to 1,398.87. Oman's gauge remained flat at 6,219.14 and Qatar's index dropped 0.7 per cent to 6,913.11. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share index dipped 0.2 per cent to 6,117.21.

halsayegh@thenational.ae