Most Gulf Mkts Gain; Qatar Pulls back From New Peak on Tuesday

Big 5

Qatar Insurance Company lifted the Gulf state’s stock market to an all-time high on Tuesday after winning a large contract to provide services to the nation’s new main international airport.

Most other markets in the region also advanced. Dubai led gains as it recovered from a sharp drop earlier this week.

Shares in Qatar Insurance Co rose their daily limit of 10 % after Qatar Civil Aviation Authority said the company would provide insurance services for the newly opened Hamad International Airport for a value of QR 45.97 bln (USD 12.63 bln).

The stock was the main support for the Doha benchmark , which climbed 0.8 % to a new all-time closing high of 13,175 points, breaking through resistance at the 2005 intra-day peak of 13,069 points.

Most Doha-listed stocks rose ahead Index compiler MSCI’s Wednesday announcement on which companies from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates it will add to its emerging market index.

The changes will take effect at the end of May, almost a year after MSCI said it would upgrade both countries to emerging market status.

That decision has helped the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar bourses subsequently outperform other Gulf markets.

“Clearly, there is continuing investor positioning ahead of the MSCI upgrade,” said Akber Khan, director of asset management at Qatar’s Al Rayan Investment. “We expect that inflows will be greater than the outflows.”

Stocks from the UAE and Qatar are currently included in MSCI’s frontier market index and the upgrade is expected to attract more foreign investment. Exchange data shows large inflows of foreign funds have already taken place.

UAE, SAUDI

Dubai’s bourse rose 2.2 %, further recovering from Sunday’s 3.1-% decline.

Emaar Properties, up 3 %, was the main support, along with builder Arabtec Holding whose shares surged 11.7 % and topped daily turnover.

Arabtec reported a 121-% jump in first-quarter net profit last week, although some analysts said that may not be enough to justify its current multiples which are significantly higher than those of regional and global peers.

The contractor, which branched out this year into development with a USD 40 bln project in Egypt, trades at a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 62, while other builders and developers in the Gulf have multiples between 20 and 26.

Abu Dhabi’s bourse rose 0.6 %. Telecom operator Etisalat climbed 1.8 percent and developer Aldar , which this week said its first-quarter profit nearly tripled, gained 2.2 %.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse added 0.4 %. Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) and Al-Rajhi Bank were the main supports, up 1.1 and 0.7 % respectively.

Source: Reuters

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