Dubai Shares Advance on Emaar Mall Plan, Saudi King’s Health
Dubai stocks rose the most in two months after Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) said it’s expanding the world’s largest mall and amid optimism the Saudi king’s health is improving after he underwent back surgery.
Emaar, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, gained 1.6 percent after saying it will add a new shopping boulevard, residences and hotels to the Dubai Mall. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly traded construction company, advanced the most in a week. The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 1.2 percent, the biggest gain since Oct. 1, to 1,607.90 at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai, trimming this month’s decline to 0.7 percent. Dubai’s market will close beginning Dec. 2 for a two-day national holiday.
Emaar rallied to a one-month high on Nov. 25 after Dubai’s government said the company will help build a district called “Mohammed Bin Rashid City,” named after the emirate’s ruler, a plan that includes a mall surpassing the Dubai Mall in size.
“Positive sentiment is being supported by new projects announced by Emaar, and the good news about the health of the Saudi king after his appearance in the media yesterday for the first time after his back surgery,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based brokerage Al Fajr Securities LLC.
Saudi shares fell 3.8 percent this month as concern mounted that King Abdullah’s health may deteriorate after he underwent surgery, renewing questions about succession as the Middle East goes through unprecedented political change. The oil-rich kingdom’s state television yesterday showed images of Abdullah meeting with senior government officials.
Dubai, seeking to stimulate its economy, is seeking to resume several projects that were halted after the global credit crunch drove down property values by 65 percent and caused companies to suspend construction of hundreds of developments. New projects announced in the past two months include a replica of the Taj Mahal at four times the size of the Indian original. Dubai’s index is the best performer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (BGCC200) in 2012, with an advance of 19 percent.
Emaar gained to 3.76 dirhams, the highest close since Oct. 7, while Arabtec rallied 1.8 percent, the biggest gain since Nov. 21, to 2.28 dirhams.
The DFM General Index’s performance this year outpaces a gain of 1.8 percent for the Saudi Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX), the largest Arab stock market. Saudi shares will rally on Saturday following the footage of the king, Al Fajr’s Farhat said. The market is closed today for the weekend.
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