Dubai Stocks Climb Most in Week on Expo 2020 Bets; Kuwait Gains

Dubai’s benchmark stock index rose the most in a week, led by engineering firm Drake & Scull, on bets the emirate will win a bid later this month to host the World Expo in 2020. Kuwait’s equity gauge also advanced.

The DFM General Index gained 0.2 percent, the most since Oct. 31, to 2,903.3 at the close. Almost 786 million dirhams ($214 million) of shares were traded, compared with the 533 million-dirham daily average over the past year. Kuwait’s index advanced 0.5 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 0.1 percent. Israel’s TA-25 Index rose 0.4 percent and the yield on the country’s benchmark bond added the most in three months.

Speculation that Dubai will be chosen Nov. 27 to host the World Expo 2020 are helping sentiment amid signs the emirate's real-estate industry is rebounding. Emaar Properties PJSC, the builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, said last month that third-quarter net income rose 50 percent, beating analysts' estimates.

“A big catalyst for the market in the shape of the decision on Dubai’s Expo bid is at the end of the month,” Amer Khan, a Dubai-based director at Shuaa Asset Management, said in an e-mail. “The market is essentially also digesting the third-quarter earnings, which have overall been quite positive.”

Expo Expectations

Drake & Scull International PJSC, a Dubai-based provider of engineering services to the building industry, rose 5.7 percent to a record 1.31 dirhams. Emaar, whose 20 percent weighting is the heaviest in the index, climbed 0.3 percent to 6.1 dirhams.

Dubai’s economy, the second-biggest among the seven that make up the U.A.E., is set to expand an average 4.6 percent a year between 2012 and 2015, more than twice the rate of the previous four years, according to government forecasts. The emirate’s annual economic growth will be boosted by about 0.5 percentage points in the run-up to the Expo and by about 2 percentage points during the event should Dubai be selected, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report Sept. 23.

In other countries in the region, Muscat’s measure advanced 0.2 percent, Qatar’s gauge was unchanged and Bahrain’s All Share Index lost 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.2 percent.

Muscat, Qatar

Vodafone Qatar gained 5.5 percent to 9.73 riyals, the highest since Oct. 2009, on expectations its second-quarter loss may narrow to 76.5 million riyals from 121.7 million, according to mean estimates of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg. The company reports results on Nov. 14.

Gulf Finance House BSC, a Bahraini Islamic investment bank, rose to the highest in more than two weeks after saying it was in advanced negotiations to sell a stake in its India projects. The shares added 1.1 percent to 45.5 dinars.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. fell 1.2 percent to 10 riyals, the lowest in a week. Kingdom Holding Co., the investment company owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, advanced 3.4 percent to the highest since December 2007.

Clashes between Saudi police and foreign nationals in Riyadh killed two people, including a Saudi citizen, as the government implemented a nationwide crackdown on undocumented workers. Police arrested 561 people during the riots that erupted in Manfouha in south Riyadh, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a police statement. The violence left 68 injured and damaged 104 cars, the news service said.

Egypt, Israel

Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 Index of stocks declined 0.9 percent, snapping a seven-day winning streak, as of the trial of former president Mohamed Mursi started. Taalat Moustafa Group Holding fell the most, dropping 2.3 percent.

Israel’s TA-25 Index added 0.4 percent. The yield on the country’s benchmark bonds due March 2023 surged seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, the most on a closing basis since Aug. 19, to 3.67 percent. The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes rose 15 basis points on Nov. 8 as reports showed the economy expanded more than projected in the third quarter and added more jobs than forecast in October, boosting bets the Federal Reserve is closer to cutting monetary stimulus.

Envoys from Iran and world powers may not agree to an accord today in Geneva that would ease the decade-long dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, an Iranian official said. Participants are likely to issue a joint statement and meet again in 14 days, said the official, who asked not to be named because of the talks’ sensitivity.

Iran Nuclear Talks

Talks continued today among top diplomats from the seven countries involved, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Efforts faltered after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius insisted that any deal should include that Iran suspends construction of the partially built heavy-water reactor in Arak and reduces its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced a potential agreement on Iran’s nuclear program Nov. 8 as a “very bad deal” that may ignite a serious U.S.-Israeli dispute.

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