June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index climbed to the highest level in more than five months, led by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and higher oil prices.
ADCB surged to the highest in more than two years after the Star reported the emirate’s second-biggest bank by assets may be selling its stake in Malaysia’s RHB Capital Bhd. for 10.80 ringgit a share (13 dirhams). First Gulf Bank PJSC rose for a second day. The benchmark ADX General Index advanced 0.7 percent to 2,761.48, the highest since Jan. 9 at the 2:00 p.m. close in the emirate, extending its gain this week to 2.2 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks the top 200 companies in the Persian Gulf, fell 0.2 percent.
The market is buoyed by “news that ADCB is selling its stake in RHB at around 13 dirhams a share, which is 2 dirhams higher than we expected,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “The market is holding steady after a big run up in prices,” he said, referring to a gain of 1.2 percent yesterday. Oil is also helping, he said.
Abu Dhabi holds about 7 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Oil prices gained as much as 1 percent to $95.75 a barrel in New York. Shares in the United Arab Emirates advanced yesterday on optimism the country will secure an upgrade to emerging markets at index provider MSCI Inc.
RHB Stake Sale
ADCB gained 2.2 percent to 3.23 dirhams, the highest close since October 2008, after the Star quoted an unidentified person as saying the lender is selling its 25 percent stake in RHB to Aabar Investments PJSC at 2.25 times book value. An ADCB spokesman, who didn’t want to be identified in line with company policy, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News. First Gulf Bank climbed 1.7 percent to 18.05 dirhams.
“Investors are cautiously optimistic about better second- quarter earnings, particularly banks and some real-estate companies,” Farhat said.
Sorouh may report a profit of 106.5 million dirhams in the second quarter after 30.8 million dirhams a year earlier, according to the average of two estimates on Bloomberg. The shares rose 0.7 percent to 1.36 dirhams.
Dubai’s DFM General Index and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index fell less than 0.1 percent. Qatar’s measure retreated 0.8 percent, Oman’s benchmark declined 0.5 percent and Kuwait’s gauge lost 0.1 percent. Saudi Arabia’s market was closed for the weekend.
--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Shaji Mathew
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