Financial sector boosts ADX amid real estate pressure

Banking stocks supported the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) for the second session in a row yesterday and eased pressures from real estate and energy stocks.

The ADX index registered a slight rise of 6.01 points, or 0.22 per cent, to close at 2725.46 points.

Finance House, Bank of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Union National Bank were the top gainers in the market yesterday. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank advanced slightly and added to a bullish trend in the ADX.

The banking sector has turned active this week amid increasing speculations that banks have performed better than expected during 2009. Even ADCB is seeing strong rallies despite the bank reporting heavy losses due to high provisions.

However, investor reaction was positive, expecting that the bank has succeeded in cleaning up its balance sheet and is ready for a strong performance this year.

"There is positive sentiment in the market about the banking sector and investors are accumulating at low levels," said Abdel Hakim Jamil, Financial Analyst at Brouge Securities. "However, the market in general remains sideways and is moving in a narrow range due to low volumes." Turnover continued to be weak, with 62.5 million shares worth Dh148.7m changing hands.

Etisalat attracted around 30 per cent of trade values but closed flat at Dh11.15, while real estate and energy stocks remained the leading active ones in the market.

The real estate sector remained weak on the back of negative expectations about results.


Aabar down

Aabar Investments ended slightly down yesterday at Dh2.30, despite the stock rallying to Dh2.40 at the beginning of the session.

The company said it had earmarked $20 million (Dh73.4m) to buy shares of the US aviation firm XOJET Inc, a private airline company that offers services to business and leisure travellers in the US and other destinations.

"Aabar and XOJET Inc intend to join together to create a UAE-based joint venture that will provide first-class private aviation services to various destinations within the region," it said.

 

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