Real estate stocks helped the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) extend gains Monday after investors got their first chance to react to news that market leaders Aldar and Sorouh are in talks about a possible merger.
The bourse gained 1.08 per cent to 2,614.83 with both firms adding 9.84 per cent to Dh1.34. The news had a ripple effect with other names in the sector benefiting from the news. Ras Al Khaimah Properties, the most traded stock by value and volume, climbed 4.88 per cent to Dh0.43 and Eshraq Properties jumped 5.26 per cent to Dh0.40.
"There was strong appetite for shares in Aldar and Sorouh following news of a possible merger and that had a knock-on effect," said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes. "Aldar and Sorouh are market leaders in Abu Dhabi so their movements affected the rest of the sector," he added. The upbeat risk sentiment also spread to banking stocks with National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the UAE's second and third biggest lenders by market value, rising 0.43 per cent to Dh11.55 and 0.32 per cent to Dh3.15 respectively. Gains were registered across every sub-index although heavyweights etisalat and Dana Gas both closed flat.
Of the 36 companies traded, 21 rose, seven fell and eight closed unchanged. Some 137.5 million shares worth Dh124.6 million were traded. It was a quiet day across the region with markets in Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman all little changed.
Early optimism gave way to profit-taking on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index Monday as ‘penny stocks' felt a late wave of selling pressure.
The DFM fell 1.14 per cent to 1,667.38 despite a positive start to follow on from Sunday's session, which saw the bourse register its biggest single day gain in more than two years.
In a volatile session, investors booked profits in late trading with utilities firm Tabreed declining 9.52 per cent to Dh1.52, Dubai Financial Market losing 3.23 per cent to Dh1.2 and Dubai Investments falling 5.16 per cent to Dh0.9. Islamic mortgage provider Tamweel, which on Sunday said it had approved a dividend distribution of five per cent of the company's capital, tumbled 4.62 per cent to Dh1.24.
"There is no specific reason for the market changing direction mid-session," said Chahir Hosni, equity sales manager at EFG-Hermes. "The DFM has been rallying for some time but we are also seeing some profit-taking and that was the case today [Monday]," he added.
Bellwether Emaar Properties also dragged, dropping 0.33 per cent to Dh2.99. However, construction firm Arabtec closed up 0.34 per cent to Dh2.94 while companies listed on Nasdaq Dubai also saw some buying interest — jewellery firm Damas gained 2.74 per cent to 37 US cents and ports operator DP World climbed 0.8 per cent to $11.35.
Of the 30 companies traded, six rose, 20 fell and four closed unchanged. Some 533.1 million shares worth Dh625.3 million were traded.