x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Wary indexes inch higher

Regional bourses crept slightly higher yesterday as several firms announced positive news, but investors remained wary about the prospects for a global recovery.

Shuaa Capital shares were up for the second day.
Shuaa Capital shares were up for the second day.

Regional bourses crept slightly higher yesterday as several firms announced positive news, but investors remained wary about the prospects for a global recovery. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.6 per cent to 2,719.45. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was up 4 per cent to Dh2.99 on news that its board might allocate up to 25 per cent of its shares to foreign ownership.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended 0.9 per cent higher at 1,660.97. The National Central Cooling Co, or Tabreed, was up 4.35 per cent to Dh0.72. The company announced its Saudi unit planned to issue additional shares to raise between 150 million and 317m riyals. Shuaa Capital shares were up for the second consecutive day after the company announced that it expected better performance this year because of an increased emphasis on fee-generating business and less on proprietary trading.

More broadly, many investors are worried about global issues such as a potential property bubble in China and the end of stimulus spending by governments. "Private spending is supposed to replace public spending but it's still not there yet," said Khaled Akl, the head of research at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. "As such, there is a loss of confidence." In Kuwait, the general index was flat, even as Zain shares jumped 8.1 per cent. The Kuwaiti telecommunications company told a local newspaper that it had elevated Khaled al Hajeri to acting chief executive. He was previously the head of the company's Kuwait division.

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's bourse ended flat, and Muscat Securities Market was up 0.1 per cent. @Email:halsayegh@thenational.ae