x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Profit-taking hits Dubai index

Markets Update: Dubai's benchmark yesterday fell to the lowest level in more than a month, amid lackluster trade as investors closed their positions ahead of the weekend.

Shares of Air Arabia fell for a second day. Pawan Singh / The National
Shares of Air Arabia fell for a second day. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai's benchmark yesterday fell to the lowest level in more than a month, amid lacklustre trade as investors closed their positions ahead of the weekend.

Air Arabia fell for a second day since the company went ex-dividend - the date after which the buyer of the shares will not be eligible to receive the dividend for the previous period - on Wednesday. The shares were down 3.4 per cent to 63 fils a share.

Aramex, which went ex-dividend yesterday, fell 2.2 per cent to Dh1.78. The region's biggest courier company will pay investors 5 fils per share. The Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 0.2 per cent to close at 1,638.15, the lowest since March 8. It had risen as much as 30 per cent this year.

"After a very strong run up it's not surprising to see profit-taking as we get closer to the summer," said Saleem Khokhar, the head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.5 per cent to 2,500.22.

Investors bought shares in Oman's banks yesterday, after HSBC on Wednesday said it would merge its business in the Gulf state with Oman International Bank.

The lender rose 1.4 per cent to 0.278 Omani rials. HSBC will own 51 per cent of the merged entity, which will be renamed HSBC Bank Oman. Oman National Investment Corporation Holding, an investment banking firm, jumped 5 per cent to 0.313. Oman's MSM 30 Index was little changed at 6,004.12.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index was little changed at 6,264.60. Bahrain's measure added 0.4 per cent to 1,159.30. Qatar's QE Index lost 0.9 per cent to 8,638.92.

halsayegh@thenational.ae