Dubai’s benchmark index fell the most in two months as investors sold shares before MSCI Inc. names constituents of its emerging markets index this week. Abu Dhabi’s measure also retreated.
The DFM General Index tumbled 3.1 percent, the steepest drop since March 12, to 5,138.86 at the close in Dubai. Arabtec Holding, the biggest listed builder in the United Arab Emirates, lost the most in more than a year as it was cut to hold from buy at Naeem Holding. Union Properties PJSC fell 6.8 percent, the steepest retreat since August. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index declined 1.1 percent, while Qatar’s QE Index rose 0.3 percent.
MSCI, whose indexes are tracked by investors managing about $8 trillion in assets, will on May 14 announce the companies and weightings of its emerging markets gauge. The upgrade for stock markets in the U.A.E. and Qatar will take effect from June. Dubai’s benchmark surged 53 percent this year, making it the best-performing gauge among more than 90 tracked by Bloomberg. It gained 4.4 percent last week.
“It’s a good time to book some profits and people are cashing out on the positions they built in the past few weeks,” Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding in Dubai, said by phone. “A good time to revisit will be when we know what are the constituents” of the MSCI index, he said.
Arabtec, which helped build the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, tumbled 9.2 percent to 6.13 dirhams. Union Properties declined to 2.48 dirhams. Emaar Properties PJSC, the stock with the strongest weighting on Dubai’s measure, fell 2 percent to 9.95 dirhams.
Eshraq Properties Co. was the the most traded stock and the steepest decliner on Abu Dhabi’s gauge, decreasing 9.4 percent, the most on record, to 1.84 dirhams.
Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 Index rebounded from the biggest drop in a month, adding 0.2 percent. EFG-Hermes Holding SAE rose 1.5 percent to 13.25 Egyptian pounds, the highest close since March 26 after completing its divestment plan for Six of October Development & Investment.
Arabian Cement, set to become the country’s first initial public offering since 2010, said the shares have been priced at 9 pounds each after attracting 11.3 times the amount on offer in a private placement. The public sale closes May 13.
The Egyptian government sold 5 billion pounds ($709 million) at an auction of treasury bills today as yields on both three-month and nine-month securities declined.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.2 percent, Bahrain’s measure lost 0.3 percent, Oman’s retreated 0.7 percent and Kuwait’s gauge was little changed.
Israel’s TA-25 Index closed little changed, while the yield on the government’s benchmark bonds due March 2023 fell three basis points, or 0.03 of a percentage point, to 3.01 percent.
(An earlier version of this story corrected the size and scope of Arabtec’s move.)