x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Investors bank on capital gain

Most banking and financial services stocks in the capital rose

Investors appear to be betting on Abu Dhabi banks to post better performances than their Dubai counterparts when they report their second-quarter results. Most banking and financial services stocks in the capital rose yesterday, pushing up the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index by 0.2 per cent to 2,520.95. Union National Bank led the gainers as it added 2.4 per cent to Dh2.89. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 1.9 per cent to Dh1.60, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gained 1.6 per cent to Dh2.41.

"Investors are expecting a faster recovery in Abu Dhabi banks than the Dubai ones. Already you can see buying interest," said Wadah al Taha, the chief investment officer at Zarooni in Dubai. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index gained 0.2 per cent to 1,472.33. Drake & Scull rose 2.3 per cent to 79.9 fils after the company announced it had won a sizable contract in Saudi Arabia. Dubai Investments ended 1.7 per cent higher at 77.3 fils, while the shares of DFM rose 1.3 per cent to Dh1.46.

Despite the gains, volumes remain dismal in both markets by historical standards. The ADX recorded about 26 million shares traded, while the volume in Dubai was 42.8 million shares. "If you look at the combined trading value of both markets, it is at the levels of what we used to see in 2005. The longer the market stays that way, the longer it will take to recover," Mr al Taha said. Elsewhere in the region, Qatar shares advanced by 0.8 per cent and Muscat rose by 0.4 per cent. Bahrain's main index closed flat and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index gained 0.4 per cent.

skhan@thenational.ae