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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 11/08/2009

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) UAE shares ended mixed on Monday, with blue chip stocks pulling up Dubai, but Abu Dhabi took a breather from recent gains.

The benchmark index of the Dubai Financial Market added 0.7 per cent at 1,930.71, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange main index shed 0.7 per cent at 2,837.94.

The summer lull also led to lower volumes with shares traded in Dubai reaching just Dh440.15 million and Dh177.62 million in Abu Dhabi.

"We can expect lacklustre trading to continue throughout the summer months, and with no major positive catalysts domestically or regionally to justify a big rally," said Ali Khan, managing director of Arqaam Capital Limited.

The mood in both markets remain bullish though, and the reduced volatility in global markets is reducing the correlation with Western markets, said Matthew Wakeman, managing director of cash-and-equity-linked trading at EFG Hermes.

"The large rally in broader emerging markets over the last few months on reduced risk aversion has yet to take hold in the Gulf Cooperation Council markets, but it is fair to say we seem to have formed a solid base to build from."

Emirates NBD, the country's biggest bank by assets, outperformed the Dubai bourse surging by nearly 5 per cent to Dh3.83, on hopes that the bank's earnings in the third quarter would further improve after it churned out better-than-expected results in the 
second quarter.

"The selling pressure that has hung over the stock for a long time has dissipated, and the stock's underperformance compared to its Abu Dhabi peers is generating retail and institutional investor interest," said Wakeman.

Emaar Properties gained 2.2 per cent to Dh3.22. The Middle East's biggest property company was assigned a 'neutral' rating by JP Morgan, citing the 'limited visibility' of its announced merger with three property companies of government-controlled Dubai Holdings. Arabtec Holding, the country's biggest construction firm building Burj Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper which is scheduled for opening in December, advanced by 1.4 per cent 
to Dh2.92.

Global Investment House assigned a "buy" rating on Arabtec, saying that the company is increasingly focusing on markets outside of Dubai to counter the slowdown in its home turf.

National Central Cooling Company or Tabreed which is commissioning 16 district cooling plants this year, rose by 2.1 per cent ahead of its quarter results announcement.

Investors also snapped up shares of insurance companies Takaful Emarat and Takaful Insurance ahead of their earnings results.

Takaful Emarat jumped by 7 per cent to Dh1.83, while Takaful House climbed by 5.5 per cent to Dh2.69.

"The smaller caps due to announce their earnings are helping revive interest in these stocks at least for the short-term," said Khan.

Big caps in Abu Dhabi on the other hand, are taking a respite from recent rallies. Property market leader Aldar Properties shed 0.2 per cent to Dh4.24, while second-ranked Sorouh Real Estate lost 0.7 per cent at Dh3.07.

The smaller RAK Properties dropped 2.5 per cent to Dh0.77.

By Rocel Felix


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