x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Saudi stimulus provides boon to trading as stocks rise

Market Wrap: Regional markets edged higher, prolonging a buying spree as political risk eases and investors snap up cheaper stocks

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul extended a winning streak as government stimulus into the kingdom offered a boon to investors.

The region's largest stock market moved 1.2 per cent higher to 6,145.18 points. Nabil Farhat, partner at Al Fajer Securities said there was an "impatience" to carry out reform in Saudi Arabia, which is positive for the market.

"This means more spending, which will help the economy move on but political risk is still there," Mr Farhat said.

The Tadawul has risen 15 per cent gain in the last 5 days, as the kingdom pumped $37 billion into the economy ahead of a planned "Day of Rage" this Friday.

In the UAE Arabtec climbed the most since December after it shelved plans to raise capital through a rights and bond issue.

The construction company postponed plans for a rights issue and a $150 million, five-year convertible bond until market conditions improve.

It rose 7.9 per cent to Dh1.36, the biggest intraday gain for three months, even as the company's net profit fell 38 per cent in 2010, from a year earlier.

The Dubai Financial Market added 2.18 per cent to 1,443.28 points and the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange increased 1.27 per cent to 2,605.80 points.

In the capital, First Gulf Bank was the leading mover as it rose 3.5 per cent to Dh16.15 and Etisalat, the UAE's biggest company by market capitalisation climbed nearly 1 per cent to Dh11.1.

Other markets in the region also extended gains, as the Kuwaiti measure advanced 1.3 per cent to 6,218.90 points and Qatar's QE Index rose nearly 2 per cent to 8,171.59 points. Muscat's measure closed 0.2 per cent higher to 6,303.82 points.

Bahrain's stock market recovered from a dip at the open, to end 1.16 per cent higher to 1,409.32 points.