Blue chip sell-off pulls Abu Dhabi, Qatar bourses lower; Dubai volatile

Big 5

A sell-off in blue chips weighed on stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Qatar in early trade on Tuesday while Dubai’s index swung in volatile trade.

The Dubai index was initially up as much as 0.8 percent with trade concentrated in volatile and mid-sized shares. But speculators then sold Arabtec, dragging the index slightly lower; it was down 0.1 percent after 45 minutes.

Arabtec at first added 2.9 percent before erasing all gains and falling 0.6 percent. The builder fell 6.6 percent on Monday as speculators booked profits after the company said in a brief statement that rumours former chief executive Hasan Ismaik would be appointed to its board were false.

Union Properties, a mid-cap developer, added 1.1 percent in another session of unusually high volume; it jumped 14.4 percent on Monday.

In Abu Dhabi the benchmark edged down 0.4 percent as blue chip Aldar Properties and First Gulf Bank each fell back by more than 1.0 percent.

A sell-off in large caps weighed on Doha, which retreated 0.8 percent in its first 20 minutes of trade. On Monday the index had surged 2.3 percent.

Doha Bank sank 7.3 percent after the bank’s annual general meeting approved a 3 riyal per share dividend; the chairman told the meeting that the bank would revise its 2016-2018 strategic plan, particularly with regard to overseas offices and branches, but did not elaborate.

Other lenders were also sold while Ezdan Holding, a developer with a market cap over $10 billion, dropped 1.2 percent.

Source: Reuters