x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Local markets surge on regional aid pledges for Bahrain and Oman

Market Wrap: Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets rally after pledges were made to Oman and Bahrain worth Dh20 billion over the next decade by Gulf states - with video.

The country's stock exchanges rallied to the highest in two weeks after Gulf states pledged aid worth Dh20 billion to Oman and Bahrain over the next decade to help alleviate tensions.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 4.3 per cent to 1512.59 points, the highest since Feb 21, as protests in Saudi Arabia failed to escalate over the weekend.

Traded value on the Dubai bourse reached Dh326.6 million, compared with the 50-day average of Dh136.3 million.

"Saudi Arabia's planned Day of Rage last weekend, kept a lot of fund managers on the sidelines waiting for something to happen, and then nothing did happen," said Saleem Khokar, a fund manager at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. "So the positive sentiment in Saudi Arabia is carrying over into our markets," he said.

Emaar Properties, the developer of the Burj Khalifa, reached its ceiling, soaring 10 per cent to Dh2.95. Arabtec Holding, Dubai's biggest contractor, rallied 7.3 per cent to Dh1.47.

Funds allocated to support Bahrain and Oman have also been taken positively by investors in the region, said Wadah al Taha, the chief investment officer at al Zarooni Group in Dubai.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index gained 1.4 per cent to 2655.63 points. Traded value reached Dh157.9 million, compared with the 50 day average of Dh109.3 million.

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's index jumped 2.7 per cent to 8457.12. Oman's bourse added 1.2 per cent to 6416.44. Kuwait's measure gained 1.7 per cent to 6396.40. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index was trading 1.3 per cent higher to 6379.11.