The UAE’s equity market indices rose on Tuesday just a day after European stocks surged supported by a poll showing increased support for Britain to remain in the European Union.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index rose 1.13 per cent to reach 3,343.43, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index ended 0.5 per cent higher at 4,503.49.
On Monday, the FTSE 100 index gained over three per cent while Germany’s DAX rose 3.43 per cent as the sterling jumped two per cent against the dollar. The sterling’s performance marked its best daily gain since the financial crisis in 2008.
However, the improved sentiment in Europe did not do much to investor appetite in the UAE, with just Dh184.9 million traded in Dubai and less than half that amount (exactly Dh78.3 million) in Abu Dhabi.
Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments and Holdings, pointed that the trade values represent less than a third of the lowest daily average, which is around Dh200 million in ADX and Dh700 million in Dubai.
He said that the lack of activity was not surprising, though, considering many investors remain on the sidelines in Ramadan and in the summer period.
“I think the [next] catalyst will be the Q2 results coming in by the end of [July] when we should see new blood in the market in terms of turnover and participation by investors. We don’t see any actual evidence for a correlation between the [EU referendum] and the actual performance of the market here.
We saw European markets rally over five per cent week-to-date but this hasn’t been translated into regional markets due to lack of appetite and turnover,” Shurrab said.
He added that the UAE’s markets have been resilient so far, with the main indices up year-to-date despite many regional markets being negative in the year-to-date performance.
“We see Abu Dhabi up four per cent and Dubai up six per cent year-to-date, so expectations are still positive and we’re showing resilience in terms of selective investments in the UAE,” he said.
On ADX, share prices of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi slid 1.67 per cent to reach Dh9.44 after gaining 20 per cent in the past two trade sessions alone. This was after the bank issued a joint statement with First Gulf Bank (FGB) saying both parties have commenced discussions on the possibility of a merger.
The news had also led to increased buying activity on other listed banks as investors speculated that the industry could see more mergers — namely one between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Union National Bank.
On Tuesday, FGB ended the day flat whereas ADCB went up 2.15 per cent and UNB rose 4.56 per cent.
Meanwhile, on DFM, Emaar rose 0.32 per cent, Dubai Islamic Bank gained 1.18 per cent, Dubai Parks ended 2.07 per cent higher, Arabtec went up 0.72 per cent, and Aramex advanced 0.62 per cent.
Dubai Ports World fell 0.86 per cent.
Of the 33 stocks traded on DFM, 26 went up, four went down, and three remained flat. Of the 30 stocks traded on ADX, 17 advanced, five declined, and eight remained unchanged.