(Corrects to show Bahrain’s market was closed in story published Dec. 5.)
Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- United Arab Emirates shares declined, sending Abu Dhabi’s gauge down the most in more than a week, amid speculation a four-day gain spurred by an increase in wages for the nation’s government employees was overdone.
Emirates Telecommunications Corp., the U.A.E.’s biggest telephone company, dropped to the lowest since 2009. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, the Persian Gulf nation’s second-biggest Shariah-compliant bank, decreased the most since July 25. The ADX General Index fell 0.1 percent, the most since Nov. 24, to 2,470.52 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The measure advanced 2.4 percent in the four days through yesterday. Dubai’s DFM General Index slipped 0.4 percent.
“Markets in the U.A.E. are taking a breather after consecutive days of good performance,” said Samer Darwiche, an analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. “Markets should find support at these levels after the emergence of more positive catalysts for the U.A.E., including the draft law on foreign ownership.”
Stocks in the U.A.E. rallied after President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered pay increases for federal government employees who are nationals of the country, state-run WAM reported Nov. 30. The nation’s cabinet approved a draft companies law that would lift the foreign ownership limit from 49 percent, the news agency said yesterday. Index provider MSCI Inc. will announce on Dec. 14 whether to upgrade the U.A.E. to emerging-market status from frontier.
The 66 companies listed on Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index trade at about 13 times reported earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with about 11 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Etisalat decreased 0.7 percent to 9.74 dirhams, the lowest since December 2009. Abu Dhabi Islamic tumbled 1.9 percent to 3.17 dirhams as two trades were made.
In Saudi Arabia, Yamamah Saudi Cement Co. surged the most since April 2009, rising 6.8 percent to 66.5 riyals. The country’s third-biggest cement company said the board will propose a 50 percent capital increase through a bonus share issue. The Tadawul All Share Index advanced 1 percent to 6,228.16, the highest since Nov. 14.
Qatar’s QE Index gained 0.3 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index advanced 0.5 percent and Kuwait’s gauge increased 0.2 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index rose 0.7 percent. Bahrain’s market was closed for an Islamic holiday.
--With assistance from Claudia Maedler in Dubai. Editors: Shanthy Nambiar, Peter Branton
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