Most stock markets in the Middle East were mixed Wednesday with news of a 50 billion dirham ($ 13.6 billion) economic stimulus package that pushed the Abu Dhabi stock market higher, while the Saudi bourse fell after six straight sessions.
Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.8 percent, with better performance by some banks and large real estate companies, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank climbed 1.4 percent and Aldar Properties gained 1.5 percent.
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince has announced a three-year incentive package, including more investment in new technologies and tourism.
However, many details remain to be seen, and it is not yet clear to what extent the stimulus will help the residential property market, with prices falling 7.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter.
Saudi Arabia’s main index rose in early trading, but closed down 0.3 percent. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) fell 1.5 percent, after hitting a 13 percent jump since the end of April.
Zain Saudi Telecom rose 1.2 percent after the company said it had successfully signed a five-year, $ 5.9 billion ($ 1.57 billion) Murabaha financing rescheduling agreement on better terms for new capital to finance its digital plans.
The Saudi market jumped this week after businessman Ahmed bin Sulaiman al-Rajhi was appointed minister of labor, raising hopes that reforms that increase the cost of hiring foreign workers may be implemented to minimize damage to the private sector.
Some analysts also see al-Rajhi’s appointment as a sign that old business families in the kingdom will continue to favor the government, after dozens of bazaar businessmen were detained in a crackdown on corruption in November.
In Dubai, the market index gained 0.4 percent, with Arabtec Building Holding gaining 3.9 percent, its strongest trading since July. The stock has recovered more than 30 percent from its lowest in years, since the company posted in mid-May its highest quarterly profit since late 2014.
Qatar’s index rose 0.2 percent, with Qatar Insurance rising 2.7 percent after the company’s board of directors approved a buyback of up to 500 million riyals ($ 137 million), with a market value of about 12.6 billion riyals.
Following are the closing levels of the Middle East stock market indices:
– Saudi Arabia’s index fell 0.3 percent to 8383 points. – The index rose 0.4 percent to 3,056 points. – The index rose 0.8 percent to 4,452 points. – Qatar: The index rose 0.2 percent to 9328 points. KUWAIT: The index rose 0.7 percent to 4,759 points. – Bahrain .. The index fell 0.1 percent to 1267 points. – Oman – The index fell 0.3 percent to 4,580 points.