ICEC

Dubai Shares Rise to 10-Month High on Profit

Dubai stocks jumped to a 10-month high as company earnings and dividends boosted investor confidence and after a Greek bailout and U.S. jobs data lifted global markets last week. Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of the world’s tallest tower, rose 3.3 percent. Air Arabia PJSC climbed to the highest since April after reporting a 7 percent increase in profit. The DFM General Index rallied 2.7 percent to 1,676.49, the highest since April 21, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The measure, which entered a bull market last week, surged 29 percent from a low in January. The value of shares traded soared to the highest since April 2010 to 713 million dirhams ($194 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 31 stocks in Dubai’s benchmark stock index are valued at an average 0.8 times net assets, or book value, below the average 1.7 times for emerging market stocks. Volumes have picked up this month, reaching 705 million shares today, six times the 12-month daily average of 117 million shares.

“The formula for good market performance was there: low foreign participation, low expectations, and very cheap valuations. All we needed was a catalyst,” said Fadi Al Said, a Dubai-based senior investment manager at ING Investment Management, which oversees about $518 billion worldwide. “Improved sentiment driving a global rally, higher-than- expected dividends, Emaar numbers and the United Arab Emirates’ economic recovery” also helped lift the market.

Dubai’s economy may expand as much as 5 percent this year after growing more than 3 percent last year, according to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Policy Committee.

Emaar, the company with the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s index, said this month fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, beating analysts’ estimates, as revenue from malls and hotels grew. The shares gained to 3.14 dirhams, the highest since June 21. Air Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest discount airline, rose 0.7 percent to 74.6 fils, the highest since April 26. Fourth- quarter profit climbed to 78.7 million dirhams and the company said it plans to pay a cash dividend of 4.5 fils a share for 2011.

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest lender complying with Shariah rules, rallied 1.8 percent. The company posted a 25 percent rise in full-year profit this month and said it plans to pay a cash dividend of 15 percent, up from 10 percent a year earlier.

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