Dubai Stocks Advance Most in Two Weeks on Earnings; Saudi Gains

Dubai shares climbed the most in two weeks, led by property developer Deyaar Development PJSC, after gains in emerging markets and better-than-expected corporate earnings boosted sentiment. Saudi Arabia’s gauge also rose.

The DFM General Index jumped as much as 3.2 percent, the most since Jan. 28, to 4,227.62 before trimming its advance to 2.2 percent at the close in Dubai. Deyaar surged 8.1 percent, the most in a month, after the company’s board recommended foreigners be allowed to own its shares. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index added 0.5 percent.

Emerging-market stocks posted their biggest weekly gain in five months on Feb. 14 after data showed U.S. consumer confidence in February was stronger-than-projected and the euro-area economy expanded more than forecast in the final quarter last year. Deyaar’s 2013 profit quadrupled and earnings at Union Properties PJSC jumped almost nine-fold as real estate prices soar on the back of Dubai’s accelerating economic growth.

“This is purely a momentum-driven market and there is a lot of positive news, such as better-than-expected corporate earnings, a merger between the United Arab Emirates’ two exchanges, and Amlak going back to the market,” Tariq Qaqish, a director at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC, said by e-mail. The recommendation of Deyaar’s board to allow foreign shareholders is also helping stocks, he said.

Amlak Resumption

Dubai and Abu Dhabi completed due diligence on a potential merger of the two stock markets in the U.A.E., bringing the combination a step closer, two people familiar with the matter said Feb. 3. A debt restructuring at Dubai-based mortgage provider Amlak Finance PJSC is almost complete, Economy Minister Sultan Al Mansoori said Jan. 30. It may lead to a resumption in trading in Amlak, suspended since 2008.

Deyaar climbed as high as 1.37 dirhams, with trading at more than twice the three-month daily average, after its board recommended allowing foreigners to own as much as 25 percent of the developer’s stock. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, which owns more than 40 percent of Deyaar, gained 4.8 percent to 6.30 dirhams.

Abu Dhabi’s index was little changed. Qatar rose 0.3 percent, Bahrain jumped 0.4 percent, Oman increased 0.1 percent, while Kuwait retreated 0.1 percent.

Israel’s benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.5 percent to 1,315.42 at the close in Tel Aviv. The gauge was led by Opko Health Inc., which advanced 8.5 percent to 29.71 shekels, tracking a two-day gain in its U.S. traded shares. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. rose 0.1 percent to 154.80 shekels after a filing showed that Soros Fund Management LLC boosted its stake in the Petach Tikva, Israel-based drug maker.

The yield on Israel’s 2023 benchmark bonds due March 2023 fell 6 basis points, or 0.06 percentage points, to 3.48 percent after data showed January inflation declined more than expected.

In Egypt, the benchmark EGX 30 Index fell 0.2 percent. Government borrowing costs retreated at a 5 billion-pound ($718 million) treasury-bill auction as the average nine-month yield fell to 10.691 percent, the lowest in more than three years. The three-month yield retreated to 10.195 percent.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.