Abu Dhabi market riding high on real estate stocks


The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange climbed to its highest finish for seven sessions following further accumulation in its irrepressible real estate sector.

This pushed the ADX up 0.22 per cent to 5,016 points, although yesterday could have been much better, with the index up 0.7 per cent just before the mid-session mark before profit taking eroded most of these gains.

Aldar Properties seems to be escaping its recent consolidation phase, having made gains for the fourth session in a row yesterday. This time it added 2.07 per cent to close on Dh12.35. Sorouh advanced 0.2 per cent to Dh9.79.

"Abu Dhabi has been doing better than Dubai largely thanks to accumulation in the capital's real estate stocks," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, Emirates Securities managing director.

"Most of this buying is coming from institutions, who are calculating likely profits from recent announcements. Real estate is an easy business to understand, so most investors are doing the sums."

Yasin is in part referring to this month's stellar Cityscape Abu Dhabi exhibition that saw property prices soar to record levels, which means big profits for the capital's developers. "This is what's driving the ADX, together with buying in the likes of Arkan and Dana Gas, but much of this is speculation," Yasin said.

The capital's most active stocks enjoyed a mixed day and it was notable that four of the five most traded shares were worth Dh3 or less. Top trader Dana Gas increased 0.46 per cent after 166 million of its shares changed hands. This was more than a third of the market total of 415 million shares, while turnover slipped to Dh1.5 billion. However, the latter figure is above the May average of Dh1.35 billion. Agthia's ascent continues thanks to volumes more than four times its 52-week daily average to place it second on the volume chart.

The foodstuff company, which is 51 per cent owned by the UAE Government, added 1.15 per cent to reach a new record close of Dh2.64.

Third-placed Waha also prospered after climbing 1.2 per cent to Dh2.50, but Arkan and Rak Properties both fell. These declines, of 1.07 and 1.28 per cent respectively, were expected with this pair among the capital's best performers of late.

Ras Al Khamah Cement Company leaped 9.81 per cent to Dh2.91 as investors look to capitalise on the northern emirate's construction boom. The company has surged 43 per cent in less than a fortnight, so profit taking should be expected.


DP World steady

DP World held steady yesterday after failing to hold onto early gains. The ports operator took a battering last week, slumping five per cent to slip below the $1 mark, but it closed unchanged on $0.96 yesterday.

Investors looking for positive signs may draw comfort from the fact it has outperformed Emaar this year, with the latter falling 24 per cent in 2008, while DP World has lost 21 per cent over the same period. DP World will hold its annual meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Depa continued its solid progress to rise 1.29 per cent to $1.57, despite seeing less than $1m of shares change hands. DP World's turnover was $1.2m.