x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Arabtec shares rise in the UAE ahead of dividend payout

Markets Update: Arabtec climbs to highest point since end of January as investors snapped up dividend payments ahead of the cut-off point - with video.

Arabtec rose to its highest point in more than two months ahead of shares in the construction company trading ex-dividend later this week.

The construction company rose 2.3 per cent to Dh1.79, its highest point since January 26 as investors notched up positions in the company.

Shares in Arabtec will go ex-dividend on April 13, which usually leads to a drop in the share price as shareholders are awarded their dividend payments prior to the cut-off date.

"People are accumulating shares in certain companies that go ex-dividend," said Amjad Baker, the trading manager at Mena Corporation.

He said that the last few months of volatility in Gulf markets had broken the resistance level on many exchanges that suffered from subdued trading.

"From that time, the market has gone up slowly giving investors more confidence to start buying," he said.

Regional markets were this morning boosted by a wave of Saudi corporate results as well as soaring crude oil prices, which have offset continuing political tension in the region.

The Tadawul, the Gulf's largest market closed modestly higher on Saturday; up 0.5 per cent at 6608.60 points as companies including Kingdom Holding helped lift the market. Shares in Kingdom Holding rose 1.6 per cent as the company said it would begin conducting due diligence to acquire a stake in Zain's telecoms operations in the kingdom.

Traders will continue focusing on results this morning as Saudi Arabia's Yanbu Cement said first-quarter net profit fell 18 per cent on the year to 101 million Saudi riyals ($26.9 million) due to lower sales.

Yanbu shares finished trading 0.7 per cent higher Saturday at 45.90 riyals in a positive overall market.

Saudi Arabia is on track to record a budget surplus of around 2 per cent of GDP this year, rising to 3 per cent in 2012, Nomura said in a note to investors this morning. The kingdom has announced an economic stimulus worth $120 billion.