A UAE investor monitors stocks at the Abu Dhabi's Security Market. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai

The Abu Dhabi index rebounded on Thursday, witnessing its sharpest rise since 2016 as shares of FAB, which went ex-dividend, and Etisalat, surged.

The Abu Dhabi general index closed 3.69 per cent higher at 4,997.56, the sharpest rise since June 19, 2016, when the index rose 4.68 per cent.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) surged the most since 2016. FAB shares closed 6.46 per cent higher to be at Dh14.50. FAB shares had surged 15 per cent on June 19, 2016, when the merger was announced between National Abu Dhabi Bank and First Gulf Bank.

FAB shares saw traded volume of 8.46 million shares, the highest since February 3, when the volume was at 22 million shares.

“There is a rotation into dividend plays. Some investors are picking-up high dividend names as of now. As we go forward traders would be interested in broader Dubai market,” Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager with Al Mal Capital, told Gulf News.

Etisalat rose 5.24 per cent, its sharpest rally since December 2016, when the stock gained 5.97 per cent.

The Dubai index, on the other hand, lagged because of aggressive selling in Emaar Properties, which closed 2.13 per cent lower at Dh4.60. Traders are now selling the stock, a sharp reversal from earlier positive sentiment. Traded volume in Emaar was at 19 million shares, the highest since February 26, when the share prices were up and volume was at 25 million.

“Emaar Properties is a sentiment play. I won’t be surprised if Emaar falls a bit more,” Bhandari said. The Dubai index has been one of the underperformers in the region, throwing opportunities on cheaply valued stocks.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 0.99 per cent lower at 2,574.21. In other stocks, Gulf Finance House closed 3.23 per cent lower at Dh0.930. Dubai Investments closed 4.48 per cent higher at Dh1.40. About 28 million shares changed hands in the auction.

In other regional peers, Saudi Tadawul index was 0.51 per cent higher at 8,570.28. The Muscat MSM 30 index closed flat at 4,074.98. The Qatar exchange index closed 2 per cent higher at 9,970.55.