Top Dividend Stocks – MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi outperforms Gulf markets
By Ateeq Shariff
March 30 (Reuters) – The Abu Dhabi stock market ended higher on Tuesday, reaching its highest level since 2005, while the Saudi index was supported by utility company Saudi Electricity after it reported strong full-year earnings.
In Abu Dhabi, the index .ADI finished 1.5% higher, led by a 2.7% gain in telecoms firm Etisalat ETISALAT.AD and a 1.3% increase in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, started trading a Murban crude futures contracts on Monday, offering a potential rival benchmark for trading Middle East crude.
“It is a great step to have the leading Abu-Dhabi oil grade traded freely around the globe. This ensures more transparency and reliability for traders and investors. Also, this will enable oil traders to hedge their exposures,” said Wael Makarem, market analyst at ICM.com.
As the volume picks up, the ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD) will become more remarkable and could open the way for further instruments that could serve investors, Makarem added.
Elsewhere, Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) JULPHAR.AD soared 14%, extending gains from the previous session.
Julphar begun interim manufacturing of a vaccine from China’s Sinopharm, part of a joint venture between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based G42.
Under the JV, a new main plant is being built in Abu Dhabi with production capacity of 200 million Hayat-Vax doses a year.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI rose 0.2%, supported by a 9.9% surge in Saudi Electricity 5110.SE after it reported a sharp rise in full-year profit. (Full Story)
The utility also proposed a cash dividend of 0.70 riyal per share for the year 2020.
However, the index’s gains were capped by losses at Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE, which went ex-dividend.
Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI added 0.2%, with its top bank Emirates NBD ENBD.DU climbing 1.8%.
In Qatar, the index .QSI closed 0.6% higher, led by a 2.4% rise in lender Masraf Al Rayan MARK.QA.
.TASI rose 0.2% to 9,635
.ADI gained 1.5% to 5,911
.DFMGI added 0.2% to 2,556
.QSI was up 0.6% to 10,381
.EGX30 was flat at 10,740
.MSI lost 0.1% to 3,681
.BKP eased 0.3% to 6,269
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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