x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Shared networks testing lifts Etisalat and du

Etisalat and du were the front runners at market close after the two telecommunications operators said they will begin testing network sharing.

Telecommunications operators advanced yesterday as the country's two operators said they began testing their shared networks ahead of a national rollout next year.

Etisalat, the country's largest company by market capitalisation, rose 0.5 per cent to Dh10.85 and du rose 0.7 per cent to Dh2.99.

Last year, both of the country's telecoms operators finalised discussions to gain access to each other's broadband internet and TV networks in a move designed to break their monopolies within their respective territories.

Analysts said the introduction of the choice of du or Etisalat, which between them have more than 1.4 million customers across the UAE, would drive prices for telecoms services down as competition would force the operators to offer promotions to retain business and attract new customers.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 0.3 per cent to 1,663.29 and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.4 per cent to 2,752.97.

Property stocks were also up in Dubai, with Deyaar Development rising 1.7 per cent to 30 fils and Union Properties advancing 0.79 per cent to 38 fils. But the engineering and contracting company Drake & Scull International, which had risen to a 15-month high on Sunday, slipped 0.8 per cent to Dh1.09 on profit-taking yesterday.

In the capital, Dana Gas jumped 4.05 per cent to 77 fils. The company was the most actively traded stock by volume with more than 35.8 million shares traded.