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11 December 2023

Abu Dhabi surges for the third consecutive session

By Matt Smith

Abu Dhabi's nine largest stocks advanced yesterday to help the capital's index increase for the third session running amid a region-wide upturn in equities.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange climbed 1.36 per cent to 2,226 points on improving volumes.

As forecast yesterday, Abu Dhabi's telecoms and property sectors bounced back.

Etisalat climbed 1.01 per cent to Dh9.96, while Sorouh Real Estate and Aldar Properties added 7.78 and 2.55 per cent respectively. Of the latter two, Sorouh looks more capable of further gains today.

"There was no reason for the panic of earlier this month besides the declines in other regional markets," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, Shuaa Securities chief executive.

"Waves of fear don't last for long, but they are severe and the market remains in danger. There's still a lot of negative sentiment, with large concerns over the impact the ongoing lack of liquidity will have on the growth of companies and the wider economy in 2009."

Abu Dhabi's major lenders continued their recovery. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi surged 6.12 per cent and 5.15 per cent respectively.

Shares in First Gulf Bank were suspended ahead of its board meeting to announce its fourth-quarter results.

FGB claimed an eight per cent rise in net profit to Dh671 million, while full year profits hit Dh3 billion.

Its proposal of a 35 per cent cash dividend should spur buyers today, while the capital's other lenders will also benefit from increasing optimism for the prospects of this sector.

Meanwhile, energy related stocks also prospered, with Taqa rising 5.15 per cent, while Aabar Investments put on 4.44 per cent. "Steady oil and positive markets across the region on improved volumes look set to help the UAE deliver a positive weekly gain," said Matthew Wakeman, EFG-Hermes managing director for cash and equity linked trading.

"The lack of declared earnings remains a banana skin for the markets and will prompt profit taking into the weekend if we are still in this position on Thursday."

Meanwhile, Yasin does not believe the market will suffer too much profit taking in the near term, because in truth there is little profit to be had since the start of the year. "We need to see a string of positive results from important companies to dampen down investors' fears and attract liquidity back to the market," said Yasin.

"With combined turnover of less than Dh500m, we need much higher trading to move the market substantially.

"Institutions are not contributing anything positive at all at present and they will have to return in greater force before a sustained trend can develop."

DP World flat

DP World closed flat for a third straight session, despite a sudden spike in volumes.

The ports operator ended unchanged on $0.25 after seeing 19 million shares change hands, which is more than quadruple the volumes of earlier this week.

Citigold jumped 12.5 per cent to $0.18 as 16,898 of its shares were traded, but Depa slunk to a new record low of $0.36 following a 10 per cent decline.