Stock indices from Kuwait to Dubai rose Thursday as a sign of relief that uncertainty was taken out of markets after Barack Obama was re-elected U. S. president and due to a number of encouraging corporate news.
All Gulf Arab gauges, with the exception of Abu Dhabi which lost slightly, ended in the green Thursday. Comments by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who congratulated Obama for his election win by saying the kingdom was looking forward to intensifying its relation to the world's largest economy were welcomed by Arab investors and intepreted as a sign of relief and continuity.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Dubai Financial Market measure DFMGI closed 0.79 percent higher at 1,617.47 points.
The sheikhdom's third largest developer Union Properties, know as UP, said it has returned to profits in the nine month-period. From January to September this year, UP generated a net profit of 155.71 million Dirham (42.46 million U.S. dollars), up from 1.5 billion Dirham (409 million dollars) loss in the same period in 2011. UP shares gained 0.74 percent to reach 0.41 (0.12 dollar).
Year-to-date, the DFMGI added 19.51 percent, representing the highest advance in the Gulf Arab region in 2012. The Dubai gauge is followed by the Saudi Arabian Tadawul market measure Tasi.
The Tasi, which was closed Thursday, surged during the week two percent, erasing part of the losses the gauge suffered in September. "The Saudi market had corrected irrationally since September and market was extremely over sold," said Haissam Arabi, CEO of Gulf Mena Investments, in an e-mailed interview with Xinhua.
"We favor consumer and telco stocks currently and are neutral banks, underweight materials and petchems mainly," added Arabi. The kingdom's largest telco firm Saudi Telecom gained 28 percent since the start of the year, while the country's (and the world's) petrochemicals leader Sabic fell by 5 percent during the same period.
Elsewhere in the region, the Qatar Exchange Index closed insignificantly higher at 8,572.75 points.
Gulf Warehousing Company gained 0.73 percent finishing at 41.30 Qatari riyal (10.73 U. S. dollars). Earlier in the day, the logistics firm said it signed an agreement with the Algerian Agency for real estate brokers with the aim to establish a logistics village project in Algeria. Under the agreement, Gulf Warehousing would own a 49 percent stake in the joint company's capital, which will be established after the signing of the final later. The majority of 51 percent will be owned by the Algerian agency.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) Market Index added 0.80 percent, finishing at 5,772.17 points Thursday. Share of Mobile Telecommunications Company, known and branded as Zain Group, jumped 2.70 percent to KD0.760. The Abu Dhabi daily The National said earlier in the day that Zain plans to invest 5.5 billion dollars to develop next generation mobile internet connections which would run 10 times faster than current technologies. The Abu Dhabi daily quoted Hisham Akbar, Zain's deputy CEO and chief operating officer.