x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Markets rebound from fall

UAE markets rebound early on, but Dubai's market slides into losses as worries about widespread unrest in Egypt persist.

Markets rebounded yesterday on speculation that Sunday's dramatic fall in the UAE's bourses may have been an overreaction, but traders said fears about Egypt were suppressing a stronger recovery.

Hassan el Salah, the head of institutional sales at AlRamz Securities, said the markets had begun the day bouncing back after "panic" selling on Sunday. "You saw a lot of sinking stocks and today we're seeing a rebound," Mr el Salah said.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 1 per cent yesterday to 2,586.75 points, led by the telecommunications company Etisalat.

Etisalat's shares rose 2.46 per cent to Dh10.40 after Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made an offer to buy Zain's Saudi operations. If the offer is accepted, it would be seen as easing Etisalat's acquisition of Zain.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index remained mostly flat, falling 0.5 per cent to 1,534.40.

Middle East fund managers said they were waiting for clarity on events in Egypt before jumping back into markets. "It's a no-man's land," said Fadi al Said, a fund manager at ING. "Nobody's making any moves until there's clarity."

Worries about exposure to Egypt hit world markets opening for the first time since the protests began.

"After a weekend of deepening unrest in Egypt, the implications of the prevailing uncertainty have begun to broaden beyond Egypt's borders to many other regional bourses and even global commodity and equity markets," said Ann Wyman, the head of emerging markets research at Nomura.

Elsewhere in the region: Qatar gained 0.4 per cent to 8,745.14 points; Kuwait added 0.5 per cent to 6,859.20; Bahrain was down 0.1 per cent at 1,448.85; Oman gained 1.5 per cent to 6,838.58; and the Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index lost 1 per cent to 6,358.03 points.