Investors in most Gulf stock markets shrugged off further losses in oil prices yesterday, while foreign buyers helped to lift Egypt’s bourse.
Riyadh’s index recouped most of the previous day’s drop and rose 1.4%, as local retail investors bought back speculative stocks that they had dumped on Sunday. The insurance sub index jumped 2.3% after tumbling 3.5% on the previous day.
The petrochemical sector also rebounded, adding 1.5% as Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed petrochemical producer, added 2.0%.
Almarai, the biggest dairy producer in the Gulf, added 1.0%. The company said shareholders had approved a capital increase for the company through an issue of bonus shares.
Saudi Airlines Catering added 2.0% after the company said it had signed a contract with Saudi Airlines Real Estate Development Co to provide catering and other entertainment services for the Saudia Hotel.
Telecommunications firm Zain Saudi rallied 9.5% to 9.20 riyals; Riyad Capital issued a note yesterday affirming its “hold” rating for the stock with a price target of 9.50 riyals. The mean price target of three analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, including Riyad Capital, is 9.25 riyals.
“We believe that Zain will be able to strongly grow its subscriber base to reach 12.4mn subscribers in the first quarter of 2016,” said the note.
The Dubai index jumped 2.3% to 3,379 points, nearing technical resistance on the March peaks of 3,397-3,421 points as momentum started to build in the latter half of the session, with volume hitting a three-week high.
Builders Drake & Scull and Arabtec each rallied over 6.5% and attracted 56% of total trading volume combined.
Blue-chip companies have been largely dormant for several weeks as local speculative traders continue to steer markets. Emaar Properties rose 2.6% in modest volume.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) jumped 13% after a 6.1% loss on Sunday. Last week the energy company reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss. Dana Gas added 3.9%.
But telecommunications firm Etisalat, the largest listed company by market value, dipped 0.5%. Its shares will go ex-dividend today.
Egypt’s main index, which initially fell, ended 0.7% higher in modest volume as foreign investors were net buyers, bourse data showed.
Stocks preferred by international asset managers rose with Commercial International Bank and Global Telecom Holding, adding 1.7 and 1.3% respectively.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index edged down 0.1% to 5,202 points; Oman’s index added 1.4% to 5,563 points, while Bahrain’s index gained 0.7% to 1,134 points.
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