Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai’s benchmark index rose to the highest in more than five years as real estate stocks extended the rally. Egyptian shares advanced as the president set a date for a referendum on the draft constitution.
The DFM General Index climbed 0.9 percent to 3,186.55, the highest since October 2008, at the close in Dubai. Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer with the biggest weighting on the index, gained for a seventh day. Arabtec Holding Co., the largest construction company in the United Arab Emirates, jumped 3.3 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index advanced 1.2 percent to the highest since September 2008. Egypt’s EGX 30 Index rose 1.1 percent.
Dubai property companies are benefiting from an economic recovery and a rebound in construction as the emirate prepares for the World Expo in 2020. The region’s hub for commerce, tourism and trading will need to invest almost 6 billion euros ($8.3 billion) on infrastructure projects before the six-month trade and cultural fair, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee and chairman of Emirates airline, said last month.
“Everyone is buying from the real estate sector,” Abdula Al Hosani, the general manager at Dubai-based Emirates NBD Securities, said by phone. Investors are also focused on real estate and construction stocks in Abu Dhabi, Hosani said.
Abu Dhabi-based Eshraq Properties PJSC climbed 1.4 percent to 1.42 dirhams, to the highest since listing in 2011. Emaar advanced as much as 1.9 percent before closing 0.3 percent higher at 7.38 dirhams. The company’s board will meet Dec. 17 to consider converting a bond into shares. Arabtec rose to 2.83 dirhams, the highest close since April last year.
Waha Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and leasing firm, surged 8.1 percent, the most since Sept. 25, to 1.6 dirhams. The company’s board will meet on Dec. 18, it said after the market closed.
Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 Index climbed to 6,678.96, the highest close since January 2011. The measure has surged 8 percent this month, the most after Dubai’s gauge among 94 equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg. Interim President Adly Mansour called for the referendum on the country’s constitution to be held Jan. 14, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.
“The announcement of the constitution referendum date reassured investors that the country is moving forward and the government is able to keep unrest under control,” said Hassan Kenawi, equities trader at Cairo-based HC Brokerage.
Egypt’s government plans to sell $1.2 billion of one-year dollar-denominated Treasury bills tomorrow to meet a similar amount of maturing debt.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index increased 0.1 percent, Qatar’s QE Index rose 0.4 percent and Bahrain’s index gained less than 0.1 percent. Kuwait’s gauge lost 0.8 percent and Muscat’s declined 0.2 percent.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index lost 0.9 percent at the close in Tel Aviv, while the yield on the government’s debt maturing in March 2023 was unchanged at 3.55 percent.
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