Abu Dhabi stocks advanced in early trades on Thursday en route to a fourth rise this week, with high-flying International Holding Co. again contributing immensely after posting record first-quarter numbers. Dubai stocks were in a muted mood with blue-chips moving in opposite directions..
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gained 0.6 per cent to 6,147 points. International Holding Co. was trading at the top of the gainers' list, putting on than 4 per cent. Profit jumped to Dh1.5 billion from Dh112.2 million a year ago while revenues raced to Dh2.28 billion, up from Dh713.1 million.
These come on the back of a solid growth strategy based on identifying and acquiring growth businesses. The company weathered the storm of the pandemic and sluggish global economic growth by diversifying investments across UAE and beyond with its presence extending to Europe and North America.
Run to the top
The stock had already gained an impressive 124 per cent for the year as the acquisition-driven model kept cheering investors. The latest numbers provide yet another cue for the rally to go on.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (or TAQA) added to the market gains after turning profitable in the first quarter. The index also received some support from Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Etisalat.
Dubai Financial Market traded roughly unchanged at 2,650 points after advancing in three of the last four sessions this week putting the index on path to close out the with growth after two straight weeks in the red. Real estate stocks led from the front again with Damac, Emaar Development and Emaar Properties all gaining ahead of their first-quarter earnings expected early next week. Markets are confident the results from the rest of the sector companies will show a substantial rebound.
Holding the index back was logistics firm Aramex, which reported a 32 per cent plunge in first-quarter profits marred by an increase in line haul costs as global cargo capacity came under pressure from disruptions. The capacity shortage during the quarter took a further hit as COVID-19 vaccines transportation and distribution took precedence.
The firm reported Dh46 million as bottom-line numbers, down from Dh67.4 million a year earlier. But revenues jumped 24 per cent to Dh1.42 billion as demand for express deliveries ticked up.
“The last time the DFM index closed near the 2,660 range was in February. Strong performance has been supported by strong corporate earnings in Q1, predominantly in real estate sector.
“Dubai high-end property market has bounced back strongly with a record number of 84 transactions done in March, for a total for Dh1.7 billion. Dubai has been luring the wealthy with relatively low COVID-19 cases, relaxed restrictions and a progressive vaccination rollout. UAE has also recently introduced new visas for tourists and nomad workers, who choose to work remotely.”