Gulf stocks mixed, Dubai’s Shuaa jumps on stake sale hopes at early trade

Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in quiet trade early Tuesday although Dubai investment bank Shuaa Capital soared on hopes that it could be taken over by a major regional firm.

The Dubai stock index was flat but Shuaa climbed 5.4 percent in unusually heavy trade after sources told Reuters that it cut about 15 percent of its workforce at the end of last week, ahead of a possible sale of a stake in the company by Dubai Group.

Dubai Group mandated Emirates NBD in April to arrange a sales process for its 48 percent stake in Shuaa. There is speculation in the market that a major financial firm in Dubai or the Middle East could buy the stake; Shuaa did not respond to requests for comment.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent with falling stocks outnumbering gainers by 85 to 59. Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries rose 0.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index also added 0.1 percent, supported by a 0.8 percent rise in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, but nine of the 10 most heavily traded stocks were flat or lower.

Qatar fell 0.3 percent as real estate firm Ezdan lost 1.2 percent.

Source: Reuters