Saudi and Egypt lead Mideast market rally

Saudi Arabia and Egypt led a rally of regional stock markets on Sunday as traders reacted to Brexit. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2017
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Saudi and Egypt lead Mideast market rally

DUBAI: Major Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday in line with strength in global bourses at the end of last week, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt leading.
The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent to 7,145, bouncing for a second straight day from technical support around 7,000 points in very heavy trade.
After initially pulling out of the market in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption, announced early last month, retail investors have been coming back in after it became clear that damage to the economy due to the crackdown was not as serious as feared.
Real estate firm Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, continued a spectacular uptrend. It surged 9 percent to SR14 ($3.73), having jumped from around SR7.50 in mid-November, when MSCI said it was adding the stock to its Saudi Arabia Index.
Petrochemical firm Saudi Kayan surged 6.2 percent to SR10.64. Many analysts consider it fully valued, however; the median target price of six analysts surveyed by Reuters is SR9.65.
Egypt’s index ended a four-day losing streak, climbing 0.7 percent, but trading volume remained light.
Cleopatra Hospital jumped 7.9 percent after saying its capital increase had been 99.8 percent subscribed, while Misr Cement soared 10 percent as the price of rights in its capital increase rocketed 11.7 percent.
The Qatari index climbed 0.7 percent; it has been trading near six-year lows for a month and appears to have established strong support in that area. Gulf International Services added 4.4 percent.
Dubai came off early highs to end just 0.1 percent higher while Abu Dhabi climbed 0.4 percent on the back of a 4.4 percent gain by Dana Gas, after the CEO of its major shareholder Crescent Petroleum told the Al Khaleej news service that the main documentation for Dana’s $700 million of outstanding sukuk was governed by UAE law.
Dana is seeking to avoid redeeming the sukuk after it matured in October, arguing that it is no longer valid under UAE law. A London court found against Dana last month, but Dana is continuing to fight its case in a UAE court.
— Reuters


Richard Branson steps down from role as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop

Updated 4 min 32 sec ago
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Richard Branson steps down from role as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop

  • Branson says the company, that plans to build a supersonic transport system in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, needs a more actively involved leader
  • Virgin Hyperloop One’s biggest shareholder, Dubai’s DP World, said the company was seeking a new chairman

DUBAI: Richard Branson is quitting as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One after saying the company, that plans to build a supersonic transport system in the UAE and other countries, needs a more actively involved leader, a statement confirmed on Monday.
“At this stage in the company’s evolution, I feel it needs a more hands-on Chair, who can focus on the business and these opportunities,” the statement quoted Branson as saying.
“It will be difficult for me to fulfil that commitment as I already devote significant time to my philanthropic ventures and the many businesses within the Virgin Group.”
Virgin Hyperloop One’s biggest shareholder, Dubai’s DP World, said the company was seeking a new chairman.