Dubai stocks rise to 33-month high

Updated 29 January 2013
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Dubai stocks rise to 33-month high

DUBAI: Egypt’s bourse slumped to a 2013 low after the cabinet approved a draft law giving the army the right to arrest civilians as the political crisis deepened.
Cairo’s index dropped 1.4 percent to its lowest close since Dec. 31, also making its largest one-day drop in two weeks.
Commercial International Bank, down 4.2 percent, and Orascom Construction Industries, down 1.7 percent, were among losers as 26 of the 30 stocks on Cairo’s main index fell.
Non-Arab foreigners were net sellers on the market against Egyptian buyers. Foreigners have recently been the buyers amid the turmoil but are now cutting their risk exposure.
Elsewhere, shares in top Dubai bank Emirates NBD surged 6.1 percent to a 15-month high ahead of its earnings later this week.
“This is mainly speculation on dividends,” said a Dubai-based trader.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast the bank will post a 143 percent rise in quarterly net profit.
Dubai’s measure rose 0.1 percent higher to a fresh 33-month high.
The index closed above major chart resistance at 1,778 points — the 2012 high hit in March last year — and the October 2010 peak of 1,793 points.
If it can hold above these levels, its next major target is 2,200 points in the medium term.
Abu Dhabi’s bourse also gained, rising 0.3 percent to its highest close since November 2010.
In Doha, Commercial Bank of Qatar climbed 0.5 percent after it posted a 19 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit.
This trailed analysts’ forecasts, but investors were more interested in the lender’s proposed cash dividend of 6 riyals per share for 2012.
Masraf Al-Rayan advanced 0.6 percent.
The Islamic bank’s quarterly profit rose 7.9 percent to 1.52 billion riyals, beating estimates. It also proposed a cash dividend of 1 riyal per share.
Kuwait’s measure gained 0.3 percent, up for a ninth straight session to its highest close since May 2012.


Omani expat visa ban extended for certain professions

Updated 43 min 41 sec ago
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Omani expat visa ban extended for certain professions

DUBAI: Oman’s expat visa ban is being extended for six months and extra sectors have been introduced, national daily Times of Oman reported, citing the Ministry of Manpower.
The additional areas of work being placed on the ban include carpentry, metal, aluminum workshops, brick factories.
Professions already in the ban include sales, construction, cleaning and media.
“An update will be issued regarding this decision once the six-month period temporary ban is completed,” an official from the Ministry of Manpower said.
The Omanization drive is part of a government’s push to recruit more Omani nationals, a similar push is underway across the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been trying to increase the number of locals in employment.
Earlier this year a six-month visa ban on hiring expats was imposed across 87 industries, including media, engineering, marketing and sales, accounting and finance, IT, insurance, technicians, administration and HR.