Kuwait’s Wataniya rose to a two-month high yesterday after Qatar Telecom offered to buy remaining stake in the telco for $2.2 billion, while Gulf markets were mixed in muted trade post the holy month of Ramadan.
Shares in Wataniya jumped 4.6 per cent to 2.3 dinars on the Kuwait bourse, their highest close since May 19 as it resumed trading after a two-month hiatus.
Qtel already owns 52.5pc of the firm and is offering 2.6 dinars per share for the stake.
“Institutions, foreign and local and retail investors, are all keen to make a quick buck on this deal. It will create volume in the market because people making money on the rally will be putting it back in the market,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.
“We will not feel the full impact of the rally because of the timing... it’s the last two days of the week and many people are not in the market.” Kuwait’s index rose 0.8pc, making its fifth straight gain since last week’s eight-year low.
The bourse has booked losses for three consecutive months since May amid political upheaval. Last week, the government asked the country’s top court to rule on a law that divides the Gulf Arab US ally into five constituencies, setting the stage for a showdown with opposition politicians.
In Doha, Qatar Telecom’s shares edged up 0.5 pc, extending gains since it made the Wataniya offer.
Doha’s index advanced 0.1pc to its highest close since May 28. The market has been rallying in recent sessions as local retail investors look for short-term gain in small- to mid-caps. Focus shifted to larger caps yesterday with Industries Qatar rising 0.9pc.
Elsewhere, investors booked recent gains in Dubai, with the index closing 0.3pc lower, trimming year-to-date gains to 16.5pc.
Bellwether Emaar Properties shed 0.9pc, contractor Arabtec lose 1.1pc and logistics operator Aramex closed 1.1pc lower.
In Abu Dhabi, the index sustained gains for a ninth successive session, climbing 0.5pc to its highest close since March 21. Its main support was Etisalat, which rose 1.4pc.
“We’re seeing retail traders grabbing opportunities before liquidity kicks in post-Eid holiday,” said Firass Yaish head of business development at Trust Capital.
Oil eased below $114 a barrel as investors held out hope that Europe would overcome its debt crisis while Middle East tension kept the potential for supply disruption in focus.
Saudi Arabia and Oman markets were closed yesterday for the Eid holidays.
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