Dubai’s benchmark index, the world’s best-performing stock measure in 2014, surpassed 4,000 points for the first time in five years as global equity markets rebounded. Abu Dhabi’s gauge advanced.
The DFM General Index, which also more than doubled last year, touched an intraday high of 4,035.07, before closing 1.1 percent higher at 3,974.61. Arabtec Holding rose after saying it plans to set up five business units. The ADX General Index (ADSMI) climbed 2.2 percent, while Israel’s TA-25 Index gained for a fourth day as Delek Group Ltd. increased after securing investment in a natural gas field.
“The Dubai index reaching the 4,000 level is important,” Montasser Khelifi, a senior manager at Quantum Investment Bank Ltd. in Dubai, said by phone. Since the index has broken through this “psychological barrier,” it is expected to continue gaining, he said.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last week had the best two-day rally since October amid optimism U.S. economic growth is robust enough to weather stimulus cuts even as data showed weaker-than-forecast hiring. Dubai’s stock market is benefiting from an economic recovery led by a resurgence in property prices, trade and tourism in the Gulf business hub.
Arabtec jumped more than 3 percent to 5.08 dirhams after the U.A.E.’s largest listed contractor said it will offer financial advisory services among other new lines of business. Last week Arabtec said it won contracts valued at $6.1 billion to develop property projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“Arabtec is embarking upon an aggressive growth strategy,” Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding in Dubai, said by e-mail today. Any positive news on the company’s oil and gas projects will prove to be a further catalyst for the stock, he said.
Emaar Properties PJSC declined 1.1 percent to 8.21 dirhams, its biggest drop since Feb. 2. The shares surged 4.7 percent on Feb. 6 after Standard & Poor’s raised the company’s rating to investment grade.
Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index increased 2.2 percent, its biggest gain since Sept. 10. First Gulf Bank (FGB) rose 6.3 percent to 22.10 dirhams, its highest on record. Aldar Properties PJSC (ALDAR) advanced 3.8 percent to 3.53 dirhams, the strongest since May 2010.
Israel’s TA-25 Index rose 0.3 percent in Tel Aviv. Delek gained as much as 2.1 percent after Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it plans to buy a quarter of the Leviathan off-shore gas field for as much as $2.6 billion. Delek Drilling LP is one of the partners in the field.
The yield on the government’s benchmark bond due in March 2023 fell one basis point, or 0.01 of a percentage point, to 3.53 percent.
In Egypt, the benchmark EGX 30 Index added 0.5 percent to 7,461.07 at the close in Cairo. The government raised 5 billion Egyptian pounds ($718 million) from an auction of three-month and nine-month treasury bills today.
Borrowing costs are falling ahead of the nomination period for presidential elections, which is expected this month. The yield on the government’s 5.75 percent Eurobonds due in April 2020 retreated 21 basis points last week to 5.78 percent, the lowest in more than a year.
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