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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 06/10/2010

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Exchange index was slightly down yesterday by 5.80 points or 0.08 percent to 7,706.81 points from 7,712.61 on Monday.

The volume of shares traded went down to 4,993,286 from 5,921,876 on Monday, and the value of shares fell to QR196,730,419.80 from QR218,421,814.45 on Monday.

Among the top losers were Qatar Meat & Livestock whose share dropped by 6.51 percent to QR15.80, whle Medicare lost 1.67 percent to QR17.70 and Qatar National Bank went down 0.46 percent to QR152.10.

The banking and financial sector lost 6.95 points, the insurance sector down 21.68 points and the services sector fell 0.70 points.

Egypt, Orascom up on deal; most markets down

Meanwhile, Egypts Orascom Telecom (OT) defied a regional market decline yesterday, soaring five percent after its executive chairman agreed to merge most of his telecom assets with Russias Vimpelcom.

Orascom surged in more than double its recent average trading volume of 17.6 million shares after the stock was suspended on Monday before the deal was announced.

Executive Chairman Naguib Sawiris said OT minority shareholders would have their rights respected in the planned Vimpelcom tie-up and gave the deal a 90 percent likelihood of success. Egypts top mobile firm by subscribers Mobinil, which is owned 34.7 percent by Orascom, climbed 1.3 percent.

OT caused euphoria among investors, said Alia Khalil, a senior equity trader at Pharos Securities. People were awaiting the deal and when it finally happened, many started buying.

The index closed 0.1 percent higher, with around three stocks falling for each that rises, after reaching its highest intraday level since May 13.

In Dubai, Arabtec jumped to a 16-week high, lifting the index after the construction firm received a 1.33bn order in Saudi Arabia.

Arabtec gained five percent, accounting for half of the trade volume in the market. Arabtec had a good run and it boosted the market, said Musa Haddad, head of the Mena equity desk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

In general, the Dubai market looks strong and I still see it closing this year in positive territory. Dubai could reach up to 1,800 and then we will see how it reacts. Property shares also gained, with Emaar Properties up 1.1 percent and Union Properties climbing 1.5 percent.

Saudi Arabias Almarai climbed to an all-time high after posting a 17-percent rise in third-quarter net profit and offering a one-for-one bonus share.

Its clear that the initial reaction to the Q3 results is positive, said Hesham Tuffaha, head of research at Bakheet Investment Group in Saudi Arabia. Almarai continues to grow for the last two years and investors are very optimistic about this company.

The index inched up, as Almarai ended with gains of 4.7 percent, having surged up to 8.1 percent intraday on its results. The banking index fell 0.2 percent as Al Rajhi declined 0.6 percent.

Kuwaits Zain gained 1.5 percent, matching Sundays high, as investors continued to speculate on the telecom firms deal with Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat).

Zains market prices dropped initially as the company was giving details of the deal. There is still no clarification from (major shareholder group) Kharafi but traders are speculating, said Essa Al Hasawi, assistant manager at Zumorroda Investment Co in Kuwait.


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