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Doha: Qatar Exchange pursued its upswing trend yesterday, adding 29.71 points (or 0.34 percent) to advance to 8,652.86 points from 8,623.15 on Tuesday. Among the top gainers were Qatar National Bank which was up 0.15 percent to QR134.60, Qatar Insurance rose 0.87 percent to QR69.60, International Islamic gained 3.97 percent to QR55 and Qatar Electricity and Water was up by 0.72 percent to QR139.
The banking and financial sector index was up 0.56 points, the consumer goods and services sector index added 0.24 points, the industrial sector lost 0.11 points while the insurance sector rose 0.78 points.
Meanwhile, UAE markets rallied in a lacklustre session ahead of a long weekend for most markets. In Abu Dhabi, shares in Aldar Properties climbed 4.4 percent, up from Tuesday’s near three-week low. It hit a 21-month closing high on Thursday, but then fell after its long-awaited merger with Sorouh Real Estate was confirmed on Monday. “We saw the run-up ahead of the merger announcement and it was a classic case of buy on rumour, sell on the news,” Bruce said.
Once the merger is approved by shareholders, Sorouh will delist from the market and shareholders will be paid 1.288 Aldar shares for every Sorouh share. Some analysts view the swap ratio as unfavourable for Aldar shareholders. Sorouh climbed 4.2 percent. On Monday, it rallied to its highest close since December 2010.
Moody’s has placed Aldar under review for a possible upgrade. “The Aldar-Sorouh merger will be credit positive with the combined group having a stronger and more conservatively positioned financial profile than the current B2 rating suggests,” Moody’s said in a report.
Appetite for UAE property stocks was also aided by the central bank’s decision not to introduce new mortgage lending limits boosting, Bruce said. The u-turn by the central bank followed fierce protests from banks.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 1.1 percent, rebounding from Tuesday’s 10-day low. The market is up 5.8 percent in January, following a 9.5 percent rise in 2012 and backed by an improving economic backdrop.
Dubai’s index rose 0.9 percent, up for a first session in last three since Sunday’s 32-month high. The index is facing long-term resistance near 1,793 points, the peak of October 2010. Emaar Properties climbed 2.8 percent, Dubai Islamic Bank rose 1 percent and National Central Cooling (Tabreed) added 1.8 percent.
In Egypt, the bourse made marginal gains ahead of the second anniversary of the revolution, despite concerns from local investors. The anniversary of the first day of demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak in 2011 — tomorrow — is expected to trigger protests against new President Mohammed Mursi and his Islamist allies.
Palm Hills Development gained 1.6 percent, the heaviest traded stock. Large-cap Orascom Telecom added 0.2 percent, while Orascom Construction Industries was the only loser on the index, slipping 0.9 percent. The measure advanced 0.2 percent to 5,689 points, up for a fourth session in the last six.
In Saudi Arabia, the index slipped 0.1 percent to close at 6,998 points, hovering around the key psychological 7,000 level. “Everyone is watching the 7,000 level and wants the market to trade above that level this year,” said Abdullah Alawi, assistant general manager and head of research at Aljazira Capital in Jeddah.