x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Shares hit longest winning streak

Dubai shares rise for a ninth consecutive session, capping the longest winning streak in more than four years as oil traded near US$70 a barrel.

Dubai shares rose for a ninth consecutive session Sunday, capping the longest winning streak in more than four years as oil traded near US$70 a barrel. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) gained 2.36 per cent, breaking the 2000 level for the first time this year, with banks and property companies recording the biggest gains. "The 2,000 resistance barrier was broken on the DFM so confidence levels are at a peak for the year and increasing day by day," said Shiv Prakash, an equity investment analyst at MAC Capital Advisors.

While stocks fell in Saudi Arabia, Merrill Lynch said equities in the country represented the best investment among Gulf markets because of the country's oil reserves and large economy. Strong evidence of a revival of activity in the kingdom's capital markets also emerged Sunday, as the stock market regulator approved six initial public offerings until October, the first of which will be for Saudi Steel Pipes this month.

It will be followed by other share sales from Mouwasat Medical Services, National Petrochemicals Company and three insurance firms. Saudi Electricity, the state-controlled power producer, received regulatory approval to sell sukuk, while Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, Saudi Arabia's biggest developer by market value, received approval to make a special offer to existing shareholders. Dubai's Emaar Properties advanced for the ninth day, rising 1.27 per cent to Dh3.98 in its longest rally since 2004. Deyaar gained 7.59 per cent to Dh0.85 and Emirates NBD rose 4.78 per cent to Dh3.72. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country's third-biggest bank by assets, climbed to a December high.

"It seems that investors are now rotating into those markets that have been lagging across the region compared with other emerging markets such as Russia, China and Brazil," said Eric Swats, a partner at Rasmala Investments. "People know Dubai well so it is catching more than its share of international and regional investors, and higher oil prices are a positive influence." The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gained 1.83 per cent to 2,854.38, while Saudi's Tadawul exchange retreated 0.21 per cent to 5971.75 for the second consecutive trading session after nearly a week of rallies.

* with agencies shamdan@thenational.ae