Etisalat back at square one after investor flurry

Etisalat erased gains made since the shares were opened up to foreign investors on Tuesday.

The telecoms operator ended the day down 1.7 per cent at Dh14.25, closing the week at the same level as immediately preceding the opening up to overseas investors.

Etisalat and banking stocks weighed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index, which fell 1.23 per cent, and finished 1.29 per cent lower for the week.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi led the sector losses, closing down 3.5 per cent at Dh9.35, while FGB and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ended down 1.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Agthia, the company behind Al Ain mineral water and Agrivita animal feed, closed down 7.1 per cent at Dh8.21, after its stock was downgraded to “sell” from “buy” by Mubasher Financial Services.

Taqa and Eshraq Properties were among the best performing stocks on the index, ending up 7.6 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

Dubai shares, meanwhile, closed higher for their third consecutive day, rising 0.7 per cent at 3,625.16, as Damac Properties extended gains after its dividend announcement on Wednesday.

The property developer’s shares gained 1.3 per cent at Dh3.64, their highest close since early August.

Dubai Parks and Resorts and Aramex were the other main gainers, closing up 5.3 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Dubai’s headline index, which ended up marginally higher for the week, led gains across the Arabian Gulf, followed closely by Bahrain, which ended up 0.7 per cent. Saudi stocks, meanwhile, ended the day down 0.7 per cent.

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John Everington

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