x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Sorouh and Aldar merger interest lift stocks

Markets Update: Stocks up in Abu Dhabi on potential merger of Sorouh and Aldar, Arabtec boosts Dubai index after winning contract in Russia.

Dubai's Arabtec rose at the open on Monday after the emirate's biggest contracting company won a contract worth Dh453 million to build the Gazprom Tower in Russia.

Arabtec's shares gained 1.1 per cent to Dh2.55 each. They have risen more than 66 per cent so far this year. The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 0.3 per cent to 1,583.51 points.

"Arabtec was involved in preparing the design and documentation for the tower package until the client settled on the new site at the Gulf of Finland," the company said in a statement posted on the Dubai bourse. "The period of the whole project is about five years."

Property stocks in the capital surged amid heightened investor interest after Sorouh's managing director, Abubaker Al Khoori, told Reuters a merger related announcement is expected to take place within a month.

In March, Sorouh has been in talks with Aldar to discuss a potential merger that would create $15 billion company.

Sorouh gained 2.5 per cent to Dh1.21, while Aldar gained 2.4 per cent to Dh1.28.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index gained 0.5 per cent to 2,620.07 points.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure was little changed, down 0.03 per cent, to 5,980.94 points. Bahrain's index was unchanged at 1,087.33 points. Oman's MSM 30 Index gained 0.4 per cent to 5,557.48 points. Qatar's QE Index added 0.05 per cent to 8,514.45 points. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index gained 0.4 per cent to 6,839.83 points.

halsayegh@thenational.ae