Dubai: The Dubai stock market rebounded on Wednesday as top bank Emirates NBD surged, while falling oil prices continued to weigh on other Gulf markets and Saudi Arabia dropped after the government announced its 2019 budget.
In Dubai, the index rose 1.0 per cent in early trade after falling 2.1 per cent in the last session. The index is the worst-performing in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) this year, down more than 25 per cent and near its lowest levels since 2013.
Valuations are attractive but there is no rush for investors to build positions, said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital in Dubai. However, some flows may be going into high-yielding stocks ahead of the annual dividend announcement season early next year, he added.
Emirates NBD, which jumped 7.2 per cent in its biggest one-day gain in seven months, offers an 8.53 per cent dividend yield for next 12 months, according to Refinitiv data. Dubai Investments, another high-yielding stock, climbed 2.4 per cent.
The Saudi index slid 0.6 per cent, as petrochemical shares took a beating. Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries dropped 2.0 per cent.
The state budget promised a 7 per cent spending rise next year in an effort to spur sluggish economic growth, but that figure had already been flagged in a pre-budget announcement at the end of September.
Also, Saudi officials said they had no intention of changing plans to raise fees for expatriate workers this year, and indicated that domestic fuel price hikes might occur under a long-term subsidy reform policy. Hikes in both areas could hurt companies, and the private sector had lobbied for the expat fee rises to be delayed.
Qatar’s index lost 0.4 per cent as Industries Qatar declined 0.7 per cent and Commercial Bank fell 1.9 per cent.
But recently listed Qatar Aluminium jumped 6.4 per cent after FTSE Russell decided to include the firm in its indexes.