Gulf markets flat, Egypt bounces back
MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS
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.