Real estate shares lead resurgence of Gulf markets

October 13th, 2008 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 13 (IANS) After a week of mayhem triggered by the global financial crisis and punctuated only by a brief respite last Thursday, major Gulf markets, led by real estate shares, posted gains Monday.Except for the Kuwaiti bourse, which ended 0.26 percent in the red, all other stock markets of the region climbed in Monday’s trading, with the key Dubai Financial Market (DFM) posting the highest gain.

The upsurge came after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government said Monday that its guarantee for deposits in all national banks and interbank lending operations within the country would extend for a period of three years.

Other central banks of the region have also made promises of liquidity to banks and interest rate cut announcements.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index, the region’s largest, rose 9.47 percent from Sunday’s close to end at 6,365.23 points. The bourse had tumbled to a yearlong low in Sunday’s trading.

Its real estate index posted the biggest gain, rising by 9.91 percent, followed by retail (9.89 percent).

The DFM, which had also fallen to a yearlong low of 2,991.04 during Sunday’s trading, rose 10.53 percent to end at 3,343.56 points.

Real estate giants Emaar Properties, which has major investments in India through a joint venture with MGF, and Arabtec each posted a gain of 15.01 percent.

Among other major gainers were low-cost carrier Air Arabia (up 14.68 percent) and Union Properties (up 14.66 percent).

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) also rose 6.92 percent to close at 3,350.22. The bourse’s real estate index posted the highest gain of 9.28 percent.

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi rose 9.80 percent while Aldar Properties soared 9.56 percent.

The ADX Monday called on all its listed companies to bring forward the announcement of their financial results for the third quarter of 2008 and explain their business situation in the face of the global credit crunch.

“When markets are volatile, rumours can start to spread,” Rashed Al Baloushi, deputy chief executive and director of operations at ADX, said in a statement.

The actual deadline for listed companies to submit their third quarter results is Nov 15.

The Bahrain All Share Index closed at 2,329.86 points, an increase of 18.71 points from the previous closing.

Investors traded mainly in the investment sector, which represented 94 percent of the total value of shares traded.

The Doha Securities Market was also a major gainer Monday with its main index rising 8.45 percent from Sunday’s close to close at 7,624.09. Kuwait was the only market to end in the red despite making gains during the intra-day trading. The main index fell marginally by 0.26 percent from Sunday’s close to end at 11,826.70.

In an emergency cabinet meeting Sunday, the UAE government had decided on a string of measures, including injecting liquidity to secure the economy from the global market carnage.

“The UAE economy and banking system are strong and sound,” President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said after a briefing on the latest developments on the global financial crisis by Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“We are determined to protect our financial and banking system to preserve the interests of our country and people,” Sheikh Mohammad said.

The decision was welcomed by all quarters.

“This is great news for the UAE economy and the banking sector,” Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, chief of Emirates National Bank of Dubai, said.

“The time of fear is over and common sense should prevail. A decision of this magnitude is a reflection of the government’s trust in the banking industry in the UAE,” Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chief executive of Mashreq Bank, said.

Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general Abdurrahman Al-Atiyyah had also stated Monday that the economies of Gulf countries remained strong amid the global financial crisis.

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