Abu Dhabi Shares Jump Most Since 2009 as NBAD Spurs Bank Rally

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index climbed the most since 2009 as National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC surged to a seven-year high after profit beat estimates and Etisalat planned a bid for Vivendi SA’s Maroc Telecom stake.

The ADX General Index rose 2.1 percent to 3,254.07 at the close in the United Arab Emirates capital. National Bank of Abu Dhabi surged 5.4 percent. Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat as the company is known, climbed the most since December 2009.

Twenty-two stocks climbed, six fell and 34 were unchanged, as more than 225 million shares were traded, compared with a 12-month daily average of 84 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sharjah Islamic Bank soared the most since March 2008, on almost nine times the three-month daily average volume.

“The main catalyst has been strong anticipation for first-quarter numbers across the board,” said Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments Ltd in Dubai. National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s earnings “had a big part in the overall performance,” he said.

First-quarter profit climbed to 1.41 billion dirhams ($384 million) from 1.04 billion dirhams as operating income advanced 24 percent. The mean estimate of five analysts was for a profit of 1.1 billion dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Beating Peers

“The only note here is that the beat came from noncore revenues mainly investment income which makes sense as” the U.A.E. markets are outperforming regional peers this year, Shurrab said.

Abu Dhabi’s gauge has gained 24 percent this year, while Dubai’s DFM General Index added 27 percent. Qatar’s QE Index has climbed 4 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 5 percent.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi rose to 11.7 dirhams, the highest since January 2006. Etisalat surged 4 percent to 10.45 dirhams.

The company, one of two Middle Eastern carriers that have expressed interest in acquiring Vivendi’s 53 percent holding in Maroc Telecom, said it plans to submit a binding bid by today’s deadline. Etisalat has secured funding from local and international banks, it said.

Sharjah Islamic Bank advanced 14.9 percent to 11.16 dirhams. The lender, which complies with Islam’s ban on interest, said first-quarter profit rose to 84.8 million dirhams from 82.7 million dirhams a year earlier.

Dana Gas PJSC, gained 4.2 percent, the most since April 11, to 50 fils. The fuel producer said yesterday its creditors and shareholders agreed on the refinancing terms for the company’s Islamic bonds.

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