Abu Dhabi Shares at Record, Shrug Off Mideast Tension: Inside EM

Abu Dhabi’s main stock index rose to a record, even amid heightened tensions in the region, as the benchmark’s biggest member surged on hopes of foreign inflows.

The ADX General Index climbed 3.5% at the close on Sunday, after earlier gaining as much as 3.8%, boosted by gains for First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, the biggest lender in the United Arab Emirates. The stock surged 10%, the biggest jump in more than a year, ending at the highest level since July 2019. MSCI Inc. last week announced a quarterly review that could trigger about $500 million in flows from abroad to the lender, according to Arqaam Capital.

Abu Dhabi Shares at Record, Shrug Off Mideast Tension: Inside EM

Shares in Oman also gained while those in Dubai slid. Stock markets in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Israel were closed for holidays.

The rally in Abu Dhabi came despite rising tensions in the Middle East as clashes between Israelis and Palestinians escalated. Israel’s benchmark TA-35 index fell 0.5% last week and the broader TA-125 declined 0.6%, the first weekly retreat since March 25.

The Palestine Stock Exchange Al Quds Index closed 0.1% lower Sunday, paring this year’s gain to 4.1%. The market was closed for most of last week due to a holiday, when clashes increased.

Positive earnings that have beaten expectations for some companies in the UAE are offsetting geopolitical risk for now, according to Joice Mathew, the head of equity research at United Securities in Muscat.

“Geopolitics risk is back into the regional markets,” he said, adding that markets should reflect that as trading resumes this week.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • MSCI Emerging Market Index falls 3% last week, the biggest drop since late February
  • EM Review: Stocks Tumble Following April U.S. Inflation Surge

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • Dubai’s DFM General Index falls 1.2%, the biggest drop since March 22
    • Emirates NBD -2%; Emaar Properties -2.5%; Du -1.6%
    • Damac Properties drops 2.4%, most since April 21 after reporting results
      • While contracted sales recover, “the reported numbers were weak, with revenue hitting its all-time low, likely a reflection of weak construction activity, as most projects approach completion,” CI Capital analysts Sara Boutros and Marlene Milad write in a note
  • Oman’s MSM 30 Index rises 0.2%
  • Last week, the U.S.-listed BlueStar Israel Technology ETF lost 4.9%, down for the third consecutive week, and the iShares MSCI Israel ETF retreated 3.6%.

FINANCIAL RESULTS:

  • Aldar (ALDAR UH) 1Q Profit 544m Dirhams, +80% Y/y; Est. 415.5m
    • Aldar Considering More Deals in Egypt Real Estate: CEO
  • Damac (DAMAC UH) 1Q Loss 189.6m Dirhams, +79% y/y, Est. 100m Loss
  • Union Properties (UPP) 5.55m Dirhams vs 121.9m Loss
  • Amanat Holdings (AMANAT UH) 1Q Profit 31.5m Dirhams vs 5.74m
  • Amlak Finance (AMLAK UH) 1Q Profit 6m Dirhams vs 139m Loss
  • GFH Financial Group (GFH UH) 1Q Profit $16.1m vs $5.08m
  • Oman Telecom (OTEL OM) 1Q Profit 56m Rials vs 62.5m Rials

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