UAE markets fall as investors book profits

UAE markets fell on Sunday but managed gains for July.

Aramex rose to its highest level in a year on Sunday, leading the Dubai Financial Market General Index on the news that the company’s co-founder and vice chairman, Fadi Ghandour, sold a 9.9 per cent stake in the company. Aramex shares rose 2.5 per cent to Dh4.10 on Sunday.

Despite the jump by Aramex, the DFM dropped 0.9 per cent to 3,484.32. One of the biggest losers was du. Its shares slid 3.6 per cent to Dh6.65 after the company reported that net pro­fit for the three months leading to June 30 totalled Dh445.4 million compared to Dh502m in the same period last year.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.4 per cent on Sunday with bank stocks mixed, while Dana Gas and Taqa lost ground as the price of Brent crude fell 14.5 per cent in July.

For July as a whole, Abu Dhabi’s index rose 1.7 per cent. Dubai’s benchmark gained 5.2 per cent, its best month since a surge of 8.0 per cent in February.

Sanyalak Manibhandu, the head of research at NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi, said that four out of the five regional markets advanced last month, with gains of between 1.7 and 15 per cent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul was the only market to lose ground for the month.

He attributed on Sunday’s declines to “profit-taking following a strong performance in the past four weeks”.

Looking ahead, he is not optimistic for August.

“With Mena equities having made gains in July on limited change in fundamentals, we do not expect the gains to persist into August,” he said. “Mena equities stand to lose further ground should companies that have yet to report fail to positively surprise and the price of crude continues to drift lower.”

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