Drake and Scull leads Dubai index up, Qatar continues slide

Construction firm Drake and Scull led a rise in Dubai’s stock market index in early trade on Sunday while Qatar’s continued dropping to fresh five-year lows, weighed on by the sanctions imposed on Doha by other Arab states.

The Dubai index rose 0.3 percent as Drake & Scull , the most heavily traded stock, surged 6.4 percent to 1.82 dirhams, its highest level since April. The stock has been rising sharply in heavy trade since last Wednesday, after it completed a capital restructuring that involved Tabarak Investment receiving 500 million new shares.

Investment bank Shuaa Capital jumped 6.5 percent, also in unusually heavy trade.

In Abu Dhabi shares in Sudanese firm Sudatel Telecom rose by the 15 percent daily limit to 0.69 dirhams in heavy trade after the United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions against Sudan that had effectively cut the country off from much of the global financial system.

A Dubai-listed Sudanese bank, Al Salam Bank Sudan, gained 9.6 percent; trading volume was above normal levels but still thin.

Qatar’s market index sank 0.8 percent, heading for a fourth straight day of falls with the biggest bank, Qatar National Bank, dropping 1.5 percent.

Data last week showed Qatar’s economy grew in the second quarter at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis, partly because of the sanctions.

On Saturday the government announced measures to help private sector businesses, such as rent reductions in Qatar’s logistics zones, but it was not clear that this would do much to revive weak business sentiment.

Saudi Arabia’s index fell 0.2 percent as petrochemical shares weakened after a drop in global oil prices at the end of last week; Saudi Basic Industries lost 0.7 percent.

But National Agriculture Development Co climbed 4.6 percent after saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding with dairy firm Al Safi Danone Co, a partner of France’s Danone, to examine the possibility of NADEC acquiring Al Safi in a deal which would leave current Al Safi shareholders owning 38.75 percent of NADEC. Source: Reuters

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