DFM recovers from losses as volumes improve

Ayman El Saheb of Darahem Financial Brokerage

The Dubai Financial Market clawed back some of its recent losses thanks to improved volumes and gains in its three largest stocks.

The DFM's General Index increased 0.51 per cent to 5,661 points after falling 3.3 per cent over the previous six sessions.

Market leader Emaar added 0.9 per cent to close on Dh11.20, although it fell away from an intraday high of Dh11.30.

"Emaar can easily slip back again, it made okay gains yesterday and then gladly gave up most of them back," Ayman El Saheb, Darahem Financial Brokerage director of operations.

Meanwhile, the next two largest listed companies, Emirates NBD and DFM Company, climbed 2.97 and 0.9 per cent respectively. The latter was the most active stock, claiming more than a fifth of the 193 million shares that changed hands yesterday.

"The DFM Company followed a similar pattern as Emaar – people aren't confident and don't want to sleep on a stock. They're happy to play the pips to turn a quick profit," said Saheb.

Yesterday's turnover of Dh932 million was a 75 per cent increase on the day before. Emaar and DFM Company accounted for Dh432m of the Monday total.

"The market is bottoming out after Dubai fell to within 30 points of a major support at 5,600," said Saheb.

Dubai Islamic Bank's woes continued, as it fell 0.56 per cent to Dh8.77 and a new four-month low. Property developer Deyaar, which is 41 per cent owned by Dubai Islamic, also declined, losing 0.44 per cent to Dh2.23, as an ongoing investigation saw two further arrests. Yesterday's close is Deyaar's worst since November.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, all the regional stock markets except Bahrain ended in positive territory. Saudi Arabia's main index ended 0.98 per cent higher at 9,782.19 points.

Shares of Qatar Islamic Bank pushed Doha's main index higher by 0.53 per cent at 12,499.38 points.

In Oman, Bank Muscat, National Bank of Oman and Renaissance Services stocks lifted Muscat bourse marginally higher. The index rose 0.05 per cent to 11,726.23 .

Kuwait's main index rose 0.31 per cent to 15,427.80 , boosted by shares in Kuwait Finance House which climbed 0.69 per cent.

Bahrain's main measure slipped 0.08 per cent to 2,900.43 points, dragged lower by Gulf Finance House, which fell 1.4 per cent.


Netsol up 3.52%

Debutant NetSol climbed 3.52 per cent on the Dubai Financial Finance Exchange yesterday. The Californian solutions provider, the first US Nasdaq-quoted company to dual list on the DIFX, closed on $2.94. This was up four cents on its opening price, with 5,545 shares changing hands in two trades. DP World finished flat on $0.92 after trading in a narrow 2.2 per cent range. The ports operator has not closed in the green since May 30 and has fallen eight per cent since then. Finally, Depa also ended unchanged, with the interiors contractor failing to register a single trade.


Emaar forecast

Goldman Sachs has become the latest international bank to issue a bullish report on Emaar's prospects.

The US bank has raised its 12 month price target for Emaar from Dh17.40 to Dh20.10, which offers a 79 per cent upside on yesterday's close. Regular readers will remember these pages last week featured Citigroup offering a similar price target of Dh21 and analysts remain skeptical such targets can

be achieved. Goldman said it has upped its forecast because it believes the market is failing to consider a likely jump Emaar's income growth in 2009.

"We believe that the market has focused too intently on cautious 2008 earnings guidance," the Goldman report stated.

"We expect the share to perform strongly in the second half of 2008, as visibility on revenue from developments and other divisions rises."

Interestingly, Goldman also blames Emaar's depressed share price on investor fears over project execution risk, which will fall as the developer delivers more projects.