• Logistics company advances to highest level since 2006
  • Stock gauges across Gulf decline amid slump in trading volume

Aramex PJSC advanced for an 11th day as stock markets across the Gulf languished amid lower-than-normal trading volumes. Saudi Arabian equities fell in the longest losing streak since 2012.

Dubai-based Aramex, a logistics company with operations across 60 countries, climbed 2.5 percent at the close to the highest level since 2006. Every major equity index in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council declined as the number of shares exchanged for most gauges stayed below their 20-day averages.

Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour sold his stake in Levant Logistics, which owns 9.9 percent of Aramex, to privately held Boson Ventures Corp., according to a statement to Dubai’s bourse on Sunday. Boson is backed by Mohamed Alabbar, according to two people familiar with the transaction who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Alabbar is also chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC, Dubai’s biggest property developer.

“Having Alabbar as a shareholder is definitely added value,” said Tariq Qaqish, the Dubai-based head of asset management at Al Mal Capital PSC. “He has strong connections and relationships worldwide, so he will drive the company to a different level.”

The logistics company was one of only four stocks on Dubai’s DFM General Index to rise, as the summer lull continued to sap volumes across the region. Traders exchanged 8.8 million Aramex shares on Sunday, more than three times the 20-day average, as the stock’s price increased to 4.10 dirhams. Emaar Properties lost 0.9 percent.

Saudi Stocks

The Tadawul All Share Index in Saudi Arabia, which relies on oil revenue to fund public spending, fell 0.5 percent, extending its losses to a ninth day. Brent crude, the benchmark pricing gauge for half of the world’s oil, declined in July more than any other month this year to $42.46 a barrel on Friday.

“The recent bearish spell at the market is primarily led by a downturn in international oil prices and expectations of further declines to test $40 a barrel,” said Muhammad Faisal Potrik, the head of research at Riyad Capital.

Dubai’s DFM General Index decreased 1 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index lost 0.4 percent, each. Oman’s MSM 30 Index and Kuwait’s SE Price Index slid 0.2 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slipped 0.5 percent.

In Egypt, the benchmark EGX 30 Index retreated 0.6 percent, with trading volumes 44 percent below the 20-day average. The gauge remains near its highest level in almost a year, boosted by government talks with the International Monetary Fund for a $12 billion loan program to help ease the dollar shortage that has depressed growth in North Africa’s biggest economy.

Israel Rises

Israel’s TA-25 Index of stocks advanced 0.4 percent at the close in Tel Aviv, ending the month of July with gains as has occurred almost every year for the past decade.

Israel’s TA-25 Index has dropped in June and risen in July every year for the past decade except 2008
Israel’s TA-25 Index has dropped in June and risen in July every year for the past decade except 2008

Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. rose 6.7 percent, capping a monthly gain of 23 percent, its best in almost four years. The company said an Israeli court approved the offer of controlling shareholder Lev Leviev to buy its subsidiary AFI Development Plc.

The yield on Israel’s benchmark bonds due in 2026 fell five basis points to 1.66 percent, registering a fourth month of declines.

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