Regional stock markets looking healthy
Middle East stock markets had a relatively healthy day on Wednesday, despite loses in the UAE.
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Egypt’s bourse lifted from an 11-week low yesterday as bargain hunters returned after two sessions of heavy selling, while UAE markets fell in an otherwise regional uptrend.
Cairo’s bluechips recovered with Orascom Construction Industries rising 0.3%. OCI received a notification from the Egyptian Tax Authority to discuss an alleged tax claim next Sunday, sources said.
Egypt’s public prosecutor earlier this week barred OCI’s chief executive Nassef Sawiris from leaving the country, as part of an investigation into tax evasion.
Cairo’s index gained 0.4%, helped by buying from regional investors that were net buyers for the day.
Elsewhere, global gains helped lift sentiment in Saudi Arabia. The index advanced 0.7%, edging up from a two-month low. Large-caps led the climb. Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.8% and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), the world’s largest chemicals company, added 0.3%, helping the sector’s index climb 0.9%. UAE markets however, bucked the regional trend.
Dubai’s bourse slumped to a four-week closing low after Mashreq’s share price tumbled in a single trade. Shares in Mashreq, Dubai’s second largest listed lender by market value, lost 10% on a single trade of 1,168 shares.
The bank trades sporadically and has a free float of just 8%, exaggerating share price moves. Dubai’s index slipped 0.1% and Abu Dhabi’s benchmark declined 0.6%, down for a fifth session since last week’s 39-month high.
Elsewhere, Kuwait’s index rose 0.3% to 6,557 points; Oman’s measure ticked up 0.04% to 6,000 points, while Bahrain’s gauge climbed 0.5% at 1,098 points.
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