Bloomberg News

Abu Dhabi Stocks Rally to 4-Month High on Earnings Optimism, Oil

February 20, 2012

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi stocks advanced to the highest in almost four months on bets the emirate’s biggest developers will benefit from infrastructure spending. Oil rose for a fourth day.

Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s biggest property developer whose 2011 profit beat estimates, gained 2.9 percent. Sorouh Real Estate Co., the emirate’s second-largest developer, climbed to the highest in almost five months. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index rose 0.6 percent to 2,504.17, the highest since Oct. 30, at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.4 percent.

“Recent news on the real estate sector, including progress on Aldar and the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to some key projects, provided a rebound,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, the Abu Dhabi-based head of investment and asset management at Royal Capital PJSC.

Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich emirate transforming itself into a business and cultural hub, plans to resume projects including branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums after reviewing their viability, the government said in January. Aldar, which obtained 16.8 billion dirhams ($4.6 billion) from Abu Dhabi’s government by selling assets in December, last week surpassed analysts’ earnings estimates after sales of more land and properties to the state helped full-year profit.

Oil Advances

Sorouh said on Feb. 15 that 2011 profit surged to 334.7 million dirhams from 7.44 million dirhams as income from rentals and housing projects rose. Aldar shares climbed to 1.07 dirhams, the highest close since Oct. 30. Sorouh advanced 4.8 percent to 1.09 dirhams, the highest since Sept. 28.

About 227 million shares traded in Abu Dhabi today, compared with a 12-month daily average of about 64.5 million shares.

Oil for March delivery advanced as much as 2.1 percent to $105.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Iran said it halted some crude exports and investors bet fuel demand will increase as Europe moves closer to bailing out Greece. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.4 percent after China cut reserve requirements for banks to spur lending and buoy economic growth, boosting demand for riskier assets.

Dubai’s DFM General Index slipped 0.1 percent from an eight-month high on investor speculation yesterday’s gain was overdone after the gauge rose 21 percent from this year’s low in January, entering a bull market. The measure’s 14-day relative strength index rose to 79 yesterday. A reading above 70 indicates to some investors that the benchmark is poised to decline.

Oman’s benchmark stock index rose 0.1 percent and Kuwait’s gauge gained 0.5 percent. Qatar’s QE Index gained 0.3 percent. Bahrain’s measure climbed 0.2 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index increased 0.5 percent to 6,904.38, the highest since May 2010.

--Editors: Daliah Merzaban, Claudia Maedler

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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