Gulf Arab stocks perform mixed on higher oil price

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Valentine’s Day brought gains to investors at stock exchanges of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, while the Saudi Tadawul market halted a three-day gaining streak as the price of oil continued to fluctuate beneath 55 dollars a barrel.

The Dubai Financial Market closed Tuesday a roller coaster trading session 0.42 percent higher at 3,652.82. Insurance firm Arig posted the highest gain, hitting a limit-up of 15 percent, while market heavyweight Emaar Properties, the biggest real estate developer in the UAE, slipped 0.39 percent to 7.60 dirham (2.07 U.S. dollar).

After the closing bell rang at the Dubai market, Emaar said in an e-mailed statement that its 2016 net profit reached 5.233 billion dirham, or 1.425 billion dollars, a 28 percent year on year increase.

“Emaar’s growth reflects the dynamism of the UAE, which has evolved as a global hub for business and leisure,” said the firm’s chairman Mohammed Alabbar.

Dubai’s sister market Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) advanced 0.19 percent to close at 4,572.57 points.

The ADX correlates stronger with the price of oil because 90 percent of the UAE oil is located in Abu Dhabi. The price of the “black gold” (U.S. crude) gained 1.27 percent on late Tuesday. Since the start of 2017, the barrel has been trading in a range between 51 to 55 dollars.

In Doha, the Qatar Exchange 20 Index climbed 0.07 percent up, ending at 10,670.51.

Jules Kappeler, Chief Executive Officer of Euler Hermes Gulf region believed that the gross domestic growth journey will continue in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and particularly in the UAE.

However, the growth would possibly be “at slower pace due to the impact of the oil price and the time needed for the fiscal reforms to bear fruits,” he said, adding that the six GCC countries are beside the UAE Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

While the introduction of the 5 percent value-added tax from 2018 onwards in the GCC was a step into the right direction, “governments may also consider deriving additional revenue from income and property taxation,” said Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, the Tadawul All-Share Index in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, slipped 0.38 percent to hit 7,032.65, with all sector indexes ending in the red. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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