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12 April 2024

ADX witnesses worst finish since 2004 at 2,278 points

By Matt Smith

Abu Dhabi stocks were routed to condemn the capital's bourse to an historic low.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange fell 2.86 per cent to 2,278 points, its worst finish since August 5, 2004.

Nine of the 10 largest stocks on the ADX declined and, like Dubai's blue chips, many of these have slumped to landmark levels.

As predicted by this column yesterday, Monday's banking surge proved fleeting, with First Gulf Bank dropping seven per cent, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi fell 5.9 and four per cent respectively.

Market leader etisalat could not escape the carnage as the telecoms giant lost 2.76 per cent to Dh10.55, while real estate was hammered.

Aldar Properties is in freefall and declined for the eighth straight session, this time slipping 5.8 per cent to Dh2.91. Sorouh Real Estate dropped 5.03 per cent to Dh2.83.

Meanwhile, today's trading may well be decided by the fortunes of US and Asian markets overnight and this early morning, according to Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, Emaar Saudi Financial Services head of research.

"It could go either way," said Manibhandu. "Volumes are now so low, institutions can move stocks up or down with very little money.

"Nobody wants to sell, but they also don't want to buy at current levels. People are waiting for the indices to fall further."

For Dubai, this means a retreat to 1,400 points, which would represent a fall of a further 150 points and so Abu Dhabi should be braced for a similar decline.

"So far, the negative stock specific stories have come from Dubai, but one should not assume Abu Dhabi companies will escape unscathed," said Manibhandu.

"It's possible the ADX could underperform Dubai for the next few sessions. They are both part of the same economy and so if Dubai falls another 150 points, Abu Dhabi will have to follow suit to attract buyers – it is a matter of relativity."

FGB buys back shares

First Gulf Bank has bought back 877,168 of its shares at Dh7.99 under a share buyback scheme, according to a bourse statement.

In November, the bank won approval to buy back up to 10 per cent of its shares within 12 months.

So far, it has acquired 8.877 million shares, First Gulf said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse website.

Sunday's purchase represented 0.0638 per cent of total share
capital, it said. (Reuters)

DP World fails 10.3%

DP World slumped to another all-time low in another grim session for the ports operator.

DP World fell 10.3 per cent to $0.26 after 6.95 million shares were traded. It is now languishing 80 per cent below its initial public offering price of $1.30.

Depa was the only other active stock on the Nasdaq Dubai and the interiors contractor also stumbled, falling 1.96 per cent to $0.50. Just 10,000 shares changed hands.