Mawashi surges 5.7% to hit fresh all-time high
DUBAI GULF markets ended mixed on Thursday in lacklustre trade with Qatar Company for Meat and Livestock (Mawashi) surging 5.7 percent to hit a fresh all-time high. The stock is up 80.5 percent year-to-date, outperforming Doha’s benchmark, which is down 6.3 percent so far this year.
“The activity is mostly retail dominated and is looking more like a momentum play,” said Ahmed Shehada, head of trading at Qatar National Bank Financial Services. “There is a strong move in several mid- and small-caps and you see money moving from one name to the other.” Other stocks being targeted by retail investors include Vodafone Qatar and Mazaya Qatar, which have year-to-date gains of 17.9 percent and 52.6 percent respectively.
Doha’s index ended little changed. Gains in Mawashi and banks offset declines in 13 stocks. Masraf Al Rayan added 0.2 percent.
Elsewhere, in the United Arab Emirates, telecom operator Etisalat helped lift the Abu Dhabi index after strong quarterly results.
Etisalat’s shares rose 0.7 percent.
The telecommunication company reported a 17 percent rise in profits in the second-quarter, beating estimates.
Chief Executive Ahmad Julfar said Etisalat may increase its holding in Saudi Arabia’s operator Mobily .
“The company has managed to effectively control its costs which have been reflected in the improvement of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margins,” analyst Umar Faruqui at Global Investment House said in a research note. “Our full year 2012 net profit forecast for Etisalat is 7.35 billion, which we believe is likely to be met.” Abu Dhabi’s index ticked up 0.3 percent higher, snapping a three-day losing streak.
In Dubai, bluechips rose with Emaar Properties gaining 1.3 percent, up for a third straight session. Contractor Arabtec gained 1 percent and heavyweight lender Emirates NBD advanced 2.7 percent. The emirate’s index climbed 0.6 percent to close at 1,510 points.
In Kuwait, Al Ahli Bank slipped 1.5 percent in its heaviest trading in more than three years.
The lender traded 15.6 million shares, accounting for nearly a fifth of all shares changing hands on the bourse.
“Most probably, it’s a change in ownership or the shares are being collateralised from one bank to another for a loan,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.
Kuwait’s index eased 0.07 percent to its lowest close since Jan.
12. It has given up all of its earlyyear gains and has dropped since reaching a one-year high in early May.
“Since May, the market has been through volatility. People are nervous because most of the bank’s results are late, which is never the case. (National Bank of Kuwait’s) results didn’t help at all,” Darwish added. “Investors are on the sidelines. There is nothing positive in the market.” Heavyweight National Bank of Kuwait rose 1 percent, up from Wednesday’s nine-month low as bargain hunters returned.
The lender has been under selling pressure since last week when it posted a 41.6 percent decline in second-quarter profit, widely missing estimates.