Dubai’s benchmark stock index rose for the first time in six days on bets Emaar Properties PJSC may agree to boost its 2011 dividend tomorrow and before the real-estate company reports earnings. Egypt’s shares surged.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest building and expected to post a 37 percent gain in quarterly profit, advanced the most in almost three weeks. Aramex PJSC, the Middle East’s largest logistics company, rallied 2.3 percent. The DFM General Index climbed 0.7 percent, the first gain since April 12, to 1,650.20 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index fell 0.1 percent, while in North Africa the EGX30 Index rallied 2.6 percent.
Emaar, the company with the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s index, is scheduled to meet with shareholders at 4 p.m. tomorrow to discuss its proposal to pay a cash dividend of 10 fils for 2011, unchanged from 2010. Last year, Emaar abandoned a plan not to pay a dividend after a three-hour meeting between shareholders and executives.
Investors “are hoping they will influence the board to boost the dividend to 15 fils rather than the 10 fils recommended last month,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. The outlook for the company’s earnings is positive, Farhat said.
Emaar, owned 31 percent by Dubai’s government, didn’t distribute dividends for 2009 and 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its profit plunged 89 percent and 54 percent those years, respectively, as the company that derives more than three-quarters of revenue domestically suffered when Dubai’s real-estate crash dragged home prices down 65 percent from a mid-2008 peak.
The developer may report on April 24 an increase in first-quarter profit to 577 million dirhams ($157 million), according to the median estimate of four analysts on Bloomberg. The shares rose 3.1 percent, the biggest advance since April 3, to 3.30 dirhams. Aramex gained the most since Feb. 19 to 1.8 dirhams.
Shares in the Persian Gulf also rose after oil for May delivery increased 0.8 percent to $103.05 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on April 20. Gulf Arab oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., supply about a fifth of the world’s oil. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.7 percent last week after the International Monetary Fund raised its forecasts for global economic growth and U.S. corporate earnings beat estimates.
In Egypt, the EGX30 Index advanced the most since Feb. 19 to 4,829.12. The market regulator after the close approved the tender offer of a unit of France Telecom SA for shares of Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services, also known as Mobinil.
Separately, Saudi Arabia will provide the nation with an aid package that may include a three-year deposit or the purchase of treasury bills and bonds, Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri said April 19. Egypt will sign an agreement with the IMF for a $3.2 billion loan by May 15, after securing approval from the Islamists who control parliament, the Finance Ministry said on April 12.
“The Saudi Arabia aid package and reports of progress regarding the IMF loan” have pushed stocks higher, said Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities. “Speculation the regulator will make a statement regarding the France Telecom and Mobinil deal,” was also a catalyst, he said.
Qatar’s QE Index gained 0.7 percent and Kuwait’s Stock Exchange Price Index added 0.6 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index slipped 0.2 percent, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.5 percent after yesterday surging 1.4 percent. Oman’s measure retreated 0.6 percent.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index advanced 0.8 percent in Tel Aviv. The yield on the country’s 5.5 percent notes due January 2022 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.67 percent.