x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Investors look to Aramex shares to diversify portfolios

MARKETS LATEST: On a slow day for UAE bourses international courier Aramex stood apart as investors looked to spread their investments wider than just property and banking stocks.

Aramex was a rare bright spot in an otherwise sluggish afternoon of trading, as most traders sold their positions in property and banking stocks and attempted to diversify their portfolios.

Shares in the logistics courier rose nearly 2 per cent to Dh2.04 on Dubai's main bourse. Earlier this week, it announced strategic acquisitions and partnerships in Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

"Everyone is buying into Aramex because of the acquisition news and [because] people are trying to diversify," said Samer Al Jaouni, general manager at Middle East Financial Broker. He said traders were looking at firms like Aramex to expand their portfolio.

But construction companies and building contractors, seen as heavyweights in the UAE market, continued to fall as traders booked profits to shelter themselves from risky positions ahead of the year-end.

Emaar Properties slipped nearly 1.95 per cent to Dh3.52 and Arabtec lost 1.54 per cent to Dh1.92.

Deyaar Development, which was the only real estate stock to gain in the morning trading session, closed flat at Dh0.30.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties retreated 1.7 per cent Dh2.26, Rak Properties was flat at Dh0.72 and Sorouh Real Estate slipped 0.6 per cent to Dh1.66.

Confidence in banking stocks was also downbeat. Dubai Islamic bank was the biggest faller in Dubai as it lost 0.9 per cent to Dh2.15 and in the capital, First Gulf Bank slipped 0.3 per cent to Dh18.55.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index fell 0.8 per cent to 1,629.98 points and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.4 per cent to 2,716.08 points.

Elsewhere in the region: Qatar fell 0.5 per cent 8,772.67 points, Oman slipped 0.08 per cent 6,645.55 points, Bahrain gained 0.2 per cent to 1,427.14 points; Kuwait increased 0.6 per cent to 6,827.30 points and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index retreated 0.3 per cent to 6,500.27 points.