Dubai property stocks rise on hopes for industry exhibition

Arabian Gulf equity markets edged up in early trade on Monday, despite weaker oil and a fresh sell-off in China, and Dubai led gains as investors bid up property stocks, hoping that companies would announce positive news at an annual industry exhibition.

Dubai’s index rose 1.2 per cent with developer Damac, the most traded stock, jumping 2.0 per cent and the runner-up, builder Arabtec, surging 3.8 per cent.

The Cityscape property exhibition and conference opened in Dubai on Monday; companies in the sector have traditionally used it to announce new projects and contract awards.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Abu Dhabi climbed 0.4 per cent as telecommunications firm Etisalat rose 1.1 per cent, extending gains after it announced on Sunday that it would open its shares to foreign and institutional investment from September 15.

Qatar’s bourse added 0.6 per cent with most stocks positive, Oman was up 0.1 per cent and Kuwait’s market edged up 0.5 per cent.

Kuwait Food Co (Americana) surged 4.7 per cent after Bloomberg reported that Singapore’s Temasek Holdings had teamed up with Saudi Arabia’s Savola Group to bid for the firm in a deal that could be worth $4-5 billion. A series of potential suitors has been looking at Americana for more than a year, so far without result.

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