Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index climbed the most in six months after the European Central Bank announced an unlimited bond-buying program, spurring investor appetite for riskier assets.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC surged the most since October after the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender by market value said it plans to seek an Islamic banking license in Malaysia. Sorouh Real Estate Co. (SOROUH), an Abu Dhabi-based property developer, closed at the highest since April 12. The ADX General Index (ADSMI) rose 1 percent, the biggest gain since March 12, to 2,588.57 at the close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.2 percent.
European stocks posted the largest weekly advance since June after ECB President Mario Draghi announced the bond program on Sept. 6 to regain control of interest rates in the euro area. Global stocks also rallied on speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve will act to boost growth in the world’s biggest economy after lower-than-forecast payroll growth. Oil prices advanced 0.9 percent to $96.42 a barrel, the highest in a week.
Markets in the Middle East are “reacting accordingly following the global uptick on Friday and the consequent solid performance from Saudi stocks yesterday,” said Julian Bruce, the Dubai-based director of institutional sales trading at EFG- Hermes Holding SAE. The kingdom’s Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.8 percent yesterday, before falling 0.1 percent today.
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., is home to one-fifth of global proven oil reserves. Dubai’s DFM General Index advanced 1 percent, Oman’s MSM30 Index rose 0.6 percent and Bahrain’s measure added 0.1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index lost 0.1 percent and Kuwait’s benchmark fell 0.4 percent.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi rallied 4.4 percent to 8.83 dirhams. The lender wants to expand after starting non-Islamic commercial banking operations in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy in July, Leong See Meng, chief executive officer of National Bank of Abu Dhabi Malaysia Bhd, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur Sept. 7.
Sorouh added 5.4 percent to 1.18 dirhams.
Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI) helped push the EGX 30 Index (EGX30) higher after JPMorgan Cazenove raised its share price estimate to 45 pounds from 39 pounds. The stock gained 1.3 percent to 31.80 pounds. Egypt’s benchmark index advanced 0.5 percent, the highest close since June 2011.
Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (MLNX) dropped 8.1 percent, the most since July 2010, closing the gap with New York-traded shares after Stifel Nicolaus & Co. cut its recommendation on the stock and Intel Corp. reduced its sales forecast.
The yield on Israel’s 5.5 percent bonds due January 2022 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.31 percent.
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