Gulf mar­kets flat, Egypt bounces back

MIDEAST STOCK MAR­KETS

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: A bounce in shares of Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank (CIB) helped Egypt’s stock mar­ket re­bound from near tech­ni­cal sup­port yes­ter­day, while most Gulf mar­kets were lit­tle changed.

CIB, a tra­di­tional favourite of for­eign in­vestors, had tum­bled 22 per­cent over the past three weeks ago, hit by con­cern that Egypt might soon de­value its cur­rency be­cause of the blow to tourism rev­enues from last month’s ap­par­ent bomb­ing of a Rus­sian pas­sen­ger jet over the Si­nai Penin­sula.

De­val­u­a­tion wor­ries have not gone away, but some in­vestors bought back into CIB at Wed­nes­day’s lows. The stock climbed 3 per­cent to 42.57 Egyp­tian pounds, help­ing Cairo’s main share in­dex gain 1.1 per­cent to 6,391 points. It has mi­nor chart sup­port at last week’s low of 6,302 points. Ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters data, 12 an­a­lysts rate CIB a “buy” or “strong buy”, four rate it a “hold” and none a “sell”. Their me­dian tar­get price is 64.00 pounds. Most Gulf mar­kets fluc­tu­ated nar­rowly as low oil and gas prices, and a lack of pos­i­tive cor­po­rate news, de­terred many buy­ers. The Saudi stock in­dex edged up 0.1 per­cent. Af­ter gain­ing for seven straight days, lead­ing petro­chem­i­cal pro­ducer Saudi Ba­sic In­dus­tries rose in early trade but closed flat. Saudi Au­to­mo­tive Ser­vices gained 1.2 per­cent af­ter say­ing it had re­paid early 20 mil­lion riyals ($5.3 mln) of a loan from Arab Na­tional Bank. The com­pany said it had paid the debt, which had been due in Fe­bru­ary 2017, with in­ter­nal re­sources in or­der to re­duce fi­nan­cial costs.

Qatar’s in­dex fell 1 per­cent as the most heav­ily traded stock, Gulf In­ter­na­tional Ser­vices, slid 4.1 per­cent. MSCI will delete the stock from its emerg­ing mar­kets in­dex at the end of this month. Dubai edged up 0.2 per­cent as builder Arabtec , the most heav­ily traded stock, re­bounded 2.7 per­cent af­ter slid­ing 4.3 per­cent on Tues­day. Abu Dhabi rose 0.3 as Abu Dhabi Na­tional En­ergy Co (TAQA) soared to its 15 per­cent daily limit to touch 0.46 dirham in its heav­i­est trade since April 2013.

The com­pany posted a big third-quar­ter loss and its shares have been trending down this year be­cause of low oil prices, but in re­cent days they have bounced from a record low of 0.36 dirham. TAQA said on Wed­nes­day that it had filed with US reg­u­la­tors for the sale of its stake in the Lake­field wind power plant in the United States, aim­ing to com­plete the deal in the first quar­ter of 2016. The com­pany said ear­lier this year that it had de­cided to sell the as­set, given a “car­ry­ing value” of 147 mil­lion dirhams ($40 mil­lion); it said that amount was ex­pected to be sur­passed in the sale.

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