The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Small stocks witnessed activity in Dubai on Monday, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index surged to its highest level in three weeks — to breach the keenly-watched 8,000 mark — on the back of strong oil prices.

The Tadawul index closed 1.45 per cent higher at 8,047.58, after hitting a high of 8,050.72, a level last seen in mid-December. Energy companies rose, boosting the overall gauge.

Oil prices, from which Saudi Arabia derives the majority of its revenues, saw the longest stretch of daily increases in more than 17 months after jumping 1.5 per cent earlier in the day.

The broad Dubai market trades at a very inexpensive P/E of 6.5x with a dividend yield of 6.2 per cent... The Dubai equity index is probably among the cheapest in the world. What is missing is catalysts to unlock value.

- Charles-Henry Monchau | Managing Director — CIO & Head of Investment Management at Al Mal Capital

Saudi Basic Industries closed 1.5 per cent higher at 120 Saudi riyals, while National Petrochemical Co. jumped nearly 5 per cent to end at 25.70 riyals.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 0.14 per cent higher at 2,534.80 as the trades were cornered by small stocks.

Union Properties closed 4.11 per cent higher at Dh0.431.

Emirates NBD closed more than 2 per cent at Dh9.09.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed at 4,934.28, up 0.62 per cent.

First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 0.99 per cent higher at Dh14.22. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank closed at Dh8.24, up 1.1 per cent.

Going forward, the Dubai index may find value as it was the most battered among the emerging markets, analysts said.

“The broad Dubai market trades at a very inexpensive P/E of 6.5x with a dividend yield of 6.2 per cent. On this basis, the Dubai equity index is probably among the cheapest in the world. What is missing is catalysts to unlock value. We believe that a few of them could soon trigger a rebound of our local market,” Charles-Henry Monchau, Managing Director — CIO & Head of Investment Management at Al Mal Capital said.

The Dubai index shed 22 per cent of its value in the past one year.

Unusual trades in Ithmaar:

Ithmaar Holding, which witnessed an unusual increase in volumes of its shares traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange on January 3, said it was not behind the spike in volumes seen last week.

“We reaffirm our commitment to sheer transparency and disclosure as per the requirements and controls of competent authorities in Bahrain and Kuwait,” the company said in a statement.