x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Large stocks catch the eye of traders on UAE bourses

Markets Update: The country's bourses rose at the open, with Dubai's benchmark making strong gains for the second consecutive day, in speculation that MSCI will upgrade the UAE to emerging markets.

UAE bourses rise at the open with investors shifting their focus from small cap stocks to mid and large cap stocks driven by speculation on a potential upgrade by index benchmarker MSCI.

"Retail investors have made the switch from small cap to large caps," said Julian Bruce, head of equity sales at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "If you are going to play the MSCI inclusion story, there is no point in buying small caps with marginal index weighting, which is why they are concentrating on the heavyweight companies."

The UAE is a candidate to emerging markets by index benchmarker MSCI. The review, expected in June, could upgrade the country's classification from frontier markets status.

Arabtec Holding was up 2.6 per cent to Dh1.54 a share. Commercial Bank of Dubai was up 11.2 per cent to Dh3.45 a share. Aramex was up 1 per cent to Dh1.90.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index was up 1.2 per cent to 1609 points.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties was up 3.8 per cent to Dh1.61 a share. First Gulf Bank added 3.5 per cent, or 60 fils, to Dh17.50. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was up 0.8 per cent to 2654.02.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's benchmark lost 0.3 per cent to 6342.10. Bahrain's measure declined 0.3 per cent to 1404.54. Oman's index added 0.1 per cent to 6380.38. Qatar's benchmark advanced 0.5 per cent to 8819.11. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was 0.3 per cent lower to 6590.65.